US Attorney General William Barr sparred with Democrats on Wednesday over whether "spying" occurred on President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, and said that a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the election will be out next week.
I think spying did occur.
"I'm not suggesting it was not adequately predicated, but I need to explore that".
Barr's appearance before the committee was his second in Congress since Special Counsel Robert Mueller completed his report on March 22 about Russian interference in the US election.
If it prevails, the Justice Department's latest legal position would "sweep away" protections provided by the Affordable Care Act, Democrats said. By focusing on the privacy rights of "peripheral" third parties, Barr may be signalling he will make an exception to the policy in order to allow information to remain unredacted concerning people who, while not charged with crimes, are central to the probe, potentially including Trump.
The letter said that Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy between Russian Federation and Trump associates around the time of the 2016 election and that Barr did not believe the evidence in the report was sufficient to prove the president had obstructed justice.
Barr told a congressional committee on Tuesday these redactions will be colour-coded and accompanied by notes explaining the grounds for withholding information.
The attorney general has called his own credibility and integrity into question by sending the White House a 19-page memo arguing the president can not obstruct justice, before taking the top job at the Department of Justice, and he floated conspiracy theories about "spying" against the Trump campaign despite admitting he had no evidence. "I don't trust Barr, I trust Mueller".
"Personally, I would still favor one uniform federal rule against marijuana", Barr said during the hearing Wednesday. Barr "must retract his statement immediately or produce specific evidence to back it up".
'And a lot of this has already been investigated, and a substantial portion of it has been investigated and is being investigated by the Office of Inspector General at the [Justice] Department. "This was an attempted takedown of the president, and we beat them", Trump said as he left the White House for a trip to Texas. Which means that Barr didn't want to say the President is wrong - which he is, at least on the question of obstruction - in a public setting. "I believe the attorney general believes he needs to protect the president of the United States".
"What they did was treason, what they did was awful, what they did was against our constitution", Trump said without specifying who he was accusing of treason.
At Tuesday's hearing, Democrats said they were concerned that a four-page summary letter of the report's main conclusions Barr released last month portrayed the findings in an overly favorable way for President Trump. But the attorney general also said something else that we're going to dig into now.