Justice defends attorney general from Mueller staff criticism

The Justice Department defended Attorney General William Barr’s decision to release a summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Thursday after published reports said members of Mueller’s team saw it as downplaying evidence they’d gathered against President Trump.

DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in a statement Thursday that each page of Mueller’s report was marked saying that it may contain confidential grand jury information “and therefore could not be publicly released.”

“Given the extraordinary public interest in the matter, the Attorney General decided to release the report’s bottom-line findings and his conclusions immediately – without attempting to summarize the report – with the understanding that the report itself would be released after the redactions process,” Kupec said.

She added that Barr stands by his past statement that he doesn’t believe the report should be released gradually.

“The Department continues to work with the Special Counsel on appropriate redactions to the report so that it can be released to Congress and the public,” Kupec said.

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