Mueller report: White House lawyer briefed on attorney general's letter just before public release

David Jackson and John Fritze and Michael Collins

WASHINGTON – About a half hour before Attorney General William Barr sent Congress a four-page letter summarizing Robert Mueller's investigative findings Sunday, a Justice Department official briefed a White House lawyer on Barr's letter. 

A Justice Department official called White House lawyer Emmet Flood at around 3 p.m. to give him a "read out" of the letter, according to a department official speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive details of document's release. The attorney general's letter went to Capitol Hill around 3:30 p.m. 

White House lawyers had wanted to review the Mueller report before any findings were submitted to Congress – an idea that drew sharp criticism from Democrats.

According to a letter Barr sent to Congress Sunday, Mueller's investigation into Russian interference did not find evidence that Trump or members of his campaign conspired with Russia's efforts to sway the 2016 election. But the special counsel's report left "unresolved whether the president's actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction," the letter said. 

"While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him" on whether he obstructed justice, Mueller said in the report, according to Barr, who was appointed to his job by Trump in December.

Report delivered: Robert Mueller delivers report marking end of investigation 

Read the letter: Attorney General Barr's letter to Congress announcing end of Mueller's Russia probe

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Previously: Robert Mueller has spent two years investigating Trump, and he hasn't said a word. It's possible he never will.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Mueller report: White House lawyer briefed on attorney general's letter just before public release