The White House Reportedly Knows Details About the Mueller Report Ahead of Its Release—And Democrats Are Pissed

In a press conference Wednesday night, Rep. Jerrold Nadler said Attorney General William Barr “appears to be waging a media campaign on behalf of President Trump.”

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold NadlerJ. Scott Applewhite/AP

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Democrats are not happy with the Justice Department. At a press conference Wednesday night, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) criticized Attorney General William Barr’s handling of the long-awaited Mueller report. A redacted version of the report is expected to be released Thursday morning, following a press conference from Barr at 9:30 a.m. ET—though the House Judiciary Committee isn’t expected to see it for more than an hour or more after Barr speaks to the press. And, as the New York Times reported Wednesday, Justice Department officials have already discussed findings from the report with the White House, while Trump’s lawyers supposedly plan their rebuttal to the report. 

At the press conference, Nadler said the attorney general “appears to be waging a media campaign on behalf of President Trump” and laid out four ways Barr has put his “spin” on the report: He “cherry picked” findings in his March 24 letter about the report, “withheld” summaries written by the special counsel that “were intended for public consumption,” reportedly briefed the White House on the report’s findings before sharing it with Congress, and lastly, is releasing the report to Congress between 11 am and noon, “well after” Barr’s press conference on Thursday.

“Attorney General Barr is not allowing the facts of the Mueller report to speak for themselves, but is trying to bake in the narrative about the report to the benefit of the White House,” Nadler said. 

Nadler also argued that Barr was deliberately releasing the report so close to a holiday weekend to make it more difficult to respond to.

After taking a few questions, he said he assumes it would be “useful” to ask special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before Congress. “We’ll have to make those decisions after reading what we get.” Similarly, he noted the committee would possibly issue subpoenas, depending on what redactions they’re faced with tomorrow.

Earlier on Wednesday, ahead of his press conference, Nadler also said via Twitter that he was “deeply troubled” by the developments. 

Other top Democrats have expressed their displeasure with the situation:

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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