This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
The head of the U.S. Justice Department has said he plans within weeks to issue a public version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which did not find that President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign conspired with Russia.
Attorney General William Barr on March 24 issued to Congress a four-page summary of Mueller’s eagerly awaited report.
But he said he needed more time to determine how much of it could be made public.
U.S. media outlets quoted an unnamed Justice Department official as saying on March 26 that Barr’s plan was to release a public version in “weeks, not months.”
Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, have demanded Barr turn over the entire report to them by April 2. That would leave a week for the Justice Department to complete its review.
Some portions of Mueller’s confidential report contain materials that arose during secret grand-jury proceedings. Federal rules generally prohibit the government from releasing that information to the public.
The report also contains information about ongoing criminal investigations that Mueller referred to other U.S. attorneys’ offices.
In his summary, Barr quoted Mueller’s report as saying the 22-month investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump [campaign] conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
Barr said the report was less definitive on the question of whether Trump sought to obstruct Mueller’s efforts. He quoted Mueller as saying that his report “does not conclude that [Trump] committed a crime” but also “does not exonerate him.”
However, Barr said in his letter that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded that the investigation did not produce sufficient evidence to establish that Trump committed the crime of obstructing justice.
Trump and his top aides have attacked unidentified political opponents for starting the campaign investigation.
“I think what happened was a disgrace,” Trump told reporters on March 26.