Democrats Attack Barr for Holding News Conference Before Releasing Mueller Report: 'This Is Wrong'

By Susan Jones | April 18, 2019 | 5:33am EDT
Attorney General William Barr (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

( - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) all criticized Attorney General William Barr for scheduling a Thursday morning news conference, which will take place shortly before Barr releases the long-awaited Mueller report.

Barr will speak while members of Congress are on their spring break.

Democrats accuse him of trying to put a pro-Trump "spin" on the Special Counsel's findings.


Pelosi, wrapping up a trip to Ireland, tweeted Wednesday:

AG Barr has thrown out his credibility & the DOJ’s independence with his single-minded effort to protect @realDonaldTrump above all else. The American people deserve the truth, not a sanitized version of the Mueller Report approved by the Trump Admin.

Schumer tweeted as well:

The American people deserve the truth. They don’t need any more pre-damage control or spin from @realDonaldTrump’s hand-picked attorney general, William Barr. Mr. Barr is acting more like a Trump campaign spokesman than an independent agent of the law.

And in a second tweet, Schumer wrote:

The process is poisoned before the report is even released. Barr shouldn’t be spinning the report at all, but it’s doubly outrageous he’s doing it before America is given a chance to read it. Barr doesn’t want Americans to make up their own mind. What is he so afraid of?

Nadler was so upset he held a news conference Wednesday evening:

"The attorney general appears to be waging a media campaign on behalf of President Trump," Nadler told reporters.

Rather than letting the facts of the report speak for themselves, the Attorney General has taken unprecedented steps to spin Mueller's nearly two-year investigation.

One, he summarized the report and cherry-picked findings in his March 24th letter to Congress. Two, he withheld summaries written by the Special Counsel that were intended for public consumption. Three, he has briefed the White House on the report before providing Congress a copy, which has helped them prepare a rebuttal response for the president.

And now, the evening before the report’s scheduled release, the Department of Justice has informed the Committee that it will receive a copy between 11 a.m. and noon, well after the attorney general’s 9:30 a.m. conference.

“This is wrong,” Nadler said, accusing Barr of once again putting his own "spin" on the investigation.

"The essential concern here is that the 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 also complained about Barr doing this "just before the holiday weekend" when it is "extraordinarily difficult for anybody to react."

Nadler said this is not the attorney general's "proper role."

In response to a question, Nadler said if the Mueller report is "heavily" redacted, "we will most certainly issue the subpoenas," already authorized, for the unredacted report "in very short order."

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