Powerful House Democrat Calls AG Barr 'Biased'

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2019-04-07

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WASHINGTON —House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler said Democrats need to see the complete report issued by special counsel Robert Mueller because Attorney General William Barr is biased.

"He is someone who is an agent of the administration, is an appointee, a political appointee of the president whose interests he may very well be protecting," Nadler said on CBS's Face the Nation Sunday. Barr is "a biased defender of the administration."

Nadler's appearance comes after a week of media reports that Mueller's team is not happy with Barr's summary of the 22-month-long probe into whether the Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Russia to help him win the 2016 presidential election.

According to the reports, some members of Mueller team believe Barr, in Nadler's words, "sugarcoated" the summary he gave to Congress and the public. The news reports say Mueller's entire document is not as favorable to Trump as Barr made the president appear.

According to Barr's summary, Mueller found no evidence Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia, but could not reach a conclusion on obstruction of justice. Mueller wrote, however, that he could not exonerate the president on that question.

According to Barr, Mueller turned the obstruction question over to Barr, who said he concluded there is no evidence Trump had a criminal intent to try to derail the Mueller probe.

Nadler and committee Democrats have asked Barr to release the entire report and all the evidence Mueller used in the investigation. He said he is willing to subpoena the report if necessary.

"We are demanding and we have a right. Congress has a right to the entire report with no redactions whatsoever so we can see what's there," Nadler said. "There could be grounds for impeachment. There could be grounds for other action ... you can commit shameful acts, you can commit complete betrayals of the public interest without committing impeachable acts."

Barr has said he is working with Mueller's team to see how much of the report can be made public.

One of Trump's attorneys, Jay Sekulow, told ABC's This Week that the attorney general determines what the public and Congress can see.

"That has to be redacted, you can't release grand jury material. That is also a felony ... and then of course, you've got methods regarding national security interests. There's a process moving forward. I think it's moving quickly," Sekulow said.

Trump has said the report totally exonerates him and said it should be released. He has also called Mueller "honorable." He now accuses Mueller's team of media leaks.

"Looks like Bob Mueller's team of 13 Trump Haters & Angry Democrats are illegally leaking information to the press while the Fake News Media make up their own stories with or without sources - sources no longer matter to our corrupt & dishonest Mainstream Media, they are a Joke," he said in an early morning tweet Sunday

On another matter, House Democrats have also asked the Internal Revenue Service to turn over the last six years of Trump's personal and business federal tax returns. Trump has broken a 40-year custom of previous presidents and candidates and refused to let the public see his tax returns.

Sekulow said that "if necessary," the release of Trump's tax returns "will be litigated."

He said, "We should not be in a situation where ... individual private tax returns are used for political purposes."