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White House in disarray: Trump's victory lap clouded by chaos

White House in disarray: Trump's victory lap clouded by chaos

U.S. Attorney General (AG) William Barr told Congress on Friday to expect a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's confidential report on the Russian Federation investigation by mid-April, "if not sooner".

"Everyone will soon be able to read it", he wrote, assuring congressional leaders the White House would not see the full report before they do.

Barr said President Donald Trump would have the right to assert executive privilege over parts of the report. He added that there are no plans to submit the report to the White House for a privilege review.

Barr's letter aimed to reassure lawmakers and the public that the process for handling the report - which numbers almost 400 pages, he said - would be aboveboard and fair.

After the report was handed over to him by Mr Mueller, Mr Barr published only a four-page note summarising its conclusions - sparking demands for the report to be released in its entirety.

The Trump-Russia investigation looked into whether President Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Russia in 2016 to win the presidential election.

The president has used this moment to "exonerate" himself, even though the report doesn't do that, and fuel his usual monologue about how he's treated unfairly and the news media invents lies to damage his reputation.

First Nations leaders condemn Wilson-Raybould's removal from caucus
The decision comes after Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott both announced they were resigning from Justin Trudeau's cabinet. Dr Philpott resigned from the Government on March 4 in protest at Mr Trudeau's handling of the scandal.

Mueller did not find that the Trump campaign co-ordinated or conspired with Russia, Barr wrote, and did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice. 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence were also made as part of the massive investigations.

After Barr's response Democrats stood by their deadline, with House Judicary Comittee Chair Jerry Nadler saying, "Congress requires the full and complete Mueller report without redactions, as well as access to underlying evidence by 2 April".

The Justice Department is likely to miss the Democrats' April 2 deadline, though House Democrats have not yet said what they will do afterward.

Asked about the report's conclusions a day after they were released, the president said there was "a lot of people out there that have done some very, very evil things, very bad things, I would say treasonous things, against our country".

(1) material subject to the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6 (e) that by law cannot be made public; (2) material the intelligence community identifies as potentially compromising sensitive sources and methods; (3) material that could affect other ongoing matters, including those that the special counsel has referred to other Department offices; (4) information that would unduly infringe on the personal privacy and reputational interests of peripheral third parties.
The Special Counsel's report is almost 400 pages long (exclusive of tables and appendices) and sets forth the Special Counsel's findings, his analysis, and the reasons for his conclusions.

Members of Congress will be in recess for two weeks beginning April 12, which could mean that lawmakers will be out of town when the report is delivered. Nadler says he will take that date "under advisement", but would like Barr to come sooner.

Once Mueller›s full report goes public, Congress may want to consider some disapproving action short of impeachment - perhaps a strong resolution censuring or rebuking the president for his unprecedented and unpresidential pro-Russia actions and comments.


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