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Democrats decline Barr's offer to view a less redacted Mueller report

Lawmakers' next steps after Mueller report
Lawmakers consider next steps after Mueller report 05:19

Congressional Democrats have declined an offer by Attorney General William Barr to view a less redacted version of the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as only 12 members of Congress would be able to read the report and could not discuss it with other members of Congress.

In a press conference Thursday morning, Barr made the offer to the House speaker, the Senate majority leader, the House and Senate minority leaders, the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, and the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. These members of Congress, as well as one staffer for each member, could review a less redacted version of the report in a reading room, but could not take the report out of that room or discuss it with other members of Congress.

"Unfortunately, your proposed accommodation—which among other things would prohibit discussion of the full report, even with other Committee Members—is not acceptable," congressional Democrats said in the letter to Barr. The letter was signed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, and the ranking members of the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Mark Warner.

"While the current proposal is not workable, we are open to discussing a reasonable accommodation with the Department that would protect law enforcement sensitive information while allowing Congress to fulfill its constitutional duties," the letter concluded.

Nadler issued a subpoena Friday morning to access the full, un-redacted report.

"I see considerable evidence of obstruction of justice, which is what Mueller said," the top Democrat told "CBS This Morning" the day after the release of Mueller's report

Attorney General William Barr has already been invited to testify before Nadler's committee and Nadler said he will likely extend an invitation for Mueller to testify before his committee. Mueller has given the Justice Department a May 1 deadline for turning over all Mueller documents. 

House Judiciary Republicans expressed frustration with Democrats' letter.

"Attorney General Barr has given unprecedented accommodations to Chairman Nadler, and it's unconscionable the chairman refuses receipt of information he's claimed for weeks Democrats are 'entitled to.' Who subpoenas a report and publicly refuses to read it in the same day?" a spokesperson for House Judiciary Republicans said in a statement.

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