AG William Barr testifies in House hearing

Watch Live Congress grills Attorney General Barr on the release of the Mueller report

GOP Rep. Collins: Move to Impeach or Bring in Mueller

Barr testified Tuesday before a congressional subcommittee, and faced Democratic lawmakers who blasted him for what they called his "unacceptable" handling of the initial summary of Mueller's report. While the four-page letter released by Barr said the special counsel did not find a criminal conspiracy between Russian Federation and Trump associates around the time of the 2016 election, it also said Mueller had presented evidence on both sides of the obstruction question and ultimately did not reach a conclusion on it.

The move indicates Barr is following Republicans' lead on the matter.

"The thinking of the special counsel was not a mystery to the people at the Department of Justice prior to his submission of the report", Barr told Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY).

"They're operating from a contrived conspiracy borne and supported by fake news, and they can't give it up for whatever reasons", Limbaugh said.

"I will be in a position, as I said, in a week to release the report", he said.

Mueller's team, which was barely quoted in Barr's letter, has made clear that it did not exonerate the president.

The Department of Justice offered Mueller to review the March 24 letter, but the special counsel declined, according to Barr.

Democrats immediately seized on Barr's testimony. Republicans have asked for this investigation now that Mueller has completed his investigation.

The chairman of the subcommittee, Democratic Rep. Jose Serrano of NY, also said there were unanswered questions, including "serious concerns about the process by which you formulated your letter; and uncertainty about when we can expect to see the full report". "First impressions are important".

He falsely claimed that the Mueller report had found "no obstruction". He added that he didn't know what's in the Mueller report, "but there are going to be things that maybe cause some people to say, 'Oh, gosh, I didn't know that existed.' Now, does it reach a threshold?"

Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report about that could be done in May or June, Barr said.

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, suggested the full report may raise new questions for Trump but would not contain anything that would threaten the presidency.

Trump's GOP allies in Congress are also hedging their bets by continuing to cast doubt on the origins of Mueller's investigation.

The attorney general also said the door appears open to more investigations or reports about the conduct of the Russian Federation investigation - music to the ears of Republicans who have followed the lead of President Trump in calling it a "witch hunt" or suggesting it's the product of a conspiracy by the FBI and the Justice Department.

"Time really is of the essence", he said.

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