'I Didn't Exonerate': Barr Goes Before the Senate

Attorney general appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 1, 2019 9:30 AM CDT
Updated May 1, 2019 3:00 PM CDT
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Attorney General William Barr arrives to testify during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday on the Mueller report.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(Newser) – Into the lion's den. Attorney General William Barr is now appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in what is the first time he is facing lawmakers' questions since he released the Mueller report. A couple hours in, the AP reports that "private tensions between Justice Department leaders and special counsel Robert Mueller's team broke into public view in extraordinary fashion," with Barr pushing back at complaints over his handling of the Mueller report. Barr is facing questions from disgruntled Democrats who believe he painted the investigation's findings in an overly favorable light for President Trump, and the hearing comes on the heels of the Tuesday night news that Robert Mueller conveyed his displeasure with the portrayal of his findings to Barr. Highlights from the hearing:

  • CNN reports committee Chair Lindsey Graham opened the hearing by saying he has read the bulk of Mueller's almost 400-page report. Graham's take: "For me, it is over."
  • The AP reports Barr faulted Mueller for not flagging grand jury material in his report, which Barr says slowed the release of the public version of it.
  • He also said he learned at a March 5 meeting that Mueller and his investigators didn't arrive at a determination regarding whether or not Trump obstructed justice. Graham asked Barr if he was surprised that Mueller "was going to let you decide" about obstruction of justice. Barr's response: "Yes, I was surprised."

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