House Chairs Demand AG Barr Cancel Press Conference on Mueller Report
Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, Committee on Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters, and Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot L. Engel issued the following joint statement calling for Attorney General William Barr to cancel a press conference on Special Counsel Mueller’s report scheduled to take place before Congress is set to the receive the report:
“The Department of Justice announced today that the Attorney General will hold a press conference tomorrow morning before Congress has even seen Special Counsel Mueller’s report. This press conference, which apparently will not include Special Counsel Mueller, is unnecessary and inappropriate, and appears designed to shape public perceptions of the report before anyone can read it.
“In addition, we understand from press reports that the Department of Justice has had ‘numerous conversations’ with lawyers from the White House about the report, which ‘have aided the President’s legal team as it prepares a rebuttal to the report.’ There is no legitimate reason for the Department to brief the White House prior to providing Congress a copy of the report.
“These new actions by the Attorney General reinforce our concern that he is acting to protect President Trump. The Attorney General previously stated, ‘I do not believe it would be in the public’s interest for me to attempt to summarize the full report or to release it in serial or piecemeal fashion.’ We agree.
“He should let the full report speak for itself. The Attorney General should cancel the press conference and provide the full report to Congress, as we have requested. With the Special Counsel’s fact-gathering work concluded, it is now Congress’ responsibility to assess the findings and evidence and proceed accordingly.”