UPDATED with Rep. Nadler’s presser: “I’m deeply troubled by reports that the WH is being briefed on the Robert Mueller report AHEAD of its release,” Rep. Jerry Nadler tweeted, breaking news that is how DOJ intended to roll it out.
“Now, DOJ is informing us we will not receive the report until around 11/12 tomorrow afternoon — AFTER Barr’s press conference. This is wrong,” Nadler wrote.
Nadler was referencing NYT reports Barr’s DOJ has been consulting with White House for days about Mueller’s report.
“Attorney General Barr wrote to me on April 1: ‘I do not believe it would be in the public’ interest for me to attempt to summarize the full report,'” Nadler also tweeted, adding angrily, “So why is the AG holding a press conference tomorrow morning to go over the Mueller report?”
Nadler also blasted Barr again in an evening presser. When asked, a clearly very angry Nadler said that “on the assumption” the report is “heavily redacted” and in light of the DOJ’s scheme with regard to its release, reporters should expect subpoenas to be issued to Special Counsel Mueller and others on his team to testify before the committee about their investigation and report “in very short order.”
TV News outlets were surprised Wednesday afternoon to learn Attorney General Bill Barr will hold a presser Thursday morning at 9:30 AM ET. At the presser, Barr will take questions about his redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report about his nearly two years of investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Except, as House Judiciary chair Nadler says, reporters won’t have seen the report when Barr takes questions.
DOJ did not break the news, President Donald Trump did, during a Wednesday afternoon interview with Washington D.C. talk radio station WMAL.
Trump said he might hold his own presser after Barr, adding, “we’ll see.”
Trump is scheduled to leave for Mar-a-Lago tomorrow. Given his fondness for pop-up pressers on the White House lawn, some were putting their money on that.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is expected to be at the presser. Mueller will not be there to take questions. When it finally does release the report, DOJ is expected to do so on the special counsel’s web site.
The release of the report is as eagerly anticipated in Washington as Oscar noms are in Hollywood. But in this case, it will trigger a similar mad scramble by staffers to comb through every page for any bombshells about POTUS, famly members, and his inner circle of current and former aides, and family members, and an Oscar morning-like media feeding frenzy.
In his radio interview, Trump forecast “a lot of very strong things come out” when Mueller’s report is released tomorrow, seeming to confirm NYT’s reporting.
Former DNC chair Donna Brazile, now a commentator at Fox News Channel, told Politico she’s most interested in learning if anyone inside Trump’s campaign reported to the FBI any contact with Russian officials promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. Brazile became DNC chair when Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepped down after release of her hacked emails.
Other Barr presser questions to expect: would he turn over an un-redacted version of Mueller’s report to House and Senate intel committees under lock and seal. And many in the media say they’re wondering if Mueller probe results on Jared Kushner’s alleged effort to to establish backdoor communication with Russia through its embassy has been redacted. Pundits also anticipate a question about Trump’s participation in crafting Don Jr.’s initial false narrative about the nature of the meeting with Russians in Trump Tower during the campaign.
Word Barr’s longer version of Mueller report was expected this week sent President Trump into orbit; he declared during a White House lawn pop-up presser that Mueller’s investigation was “illegal,” “treasonous” and a foiled “coup.”
Barr also revealed last week he was assembling a team to investigate the origins of the investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election because, while citing no evidence, he had “concerns,” adding, “I think spying did occur” by the previous administration against Trump’s campaign.