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Nadler demands Barr release Mueller summaries and turn over communications

Democrats seek Trump tax returns

Rep. Jerry Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr Thursday requesting the public release of summaries of special counsel Robert Mueller's report prepared by his investigators, as well as all communications between the Justice Department and Mueller's office about the document.

The demands come after news reports saying some members of Mueller's team were frustrated with Barr's portrayal of the key findings of the Mueller investigation.

"You have already provided an interpretation of the Special Counsel's conclusions in a fashion that appears to minimize the implications of the report as to the President," Nadler wrote, referring to Barr's March 24 letter to Congress summarizing Mueller's conclusions. "Releasing the summaries — without delay — would begin to allow the American people to judge the facts for themselves."

Nadler said releasing the summaries is "no substitute for providing to Congress the complete and unredacted report and underlying evidence," which he and other Democrats had requested in an earlier letter.

In his March letter to Congress, Barr said Mueller had concluded there was no collusion between President Trump and the Russian government during the 2016 election. He also said Mueller did not make a determination on whether the president obstructed justice. Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined the available evidence was insufficient to establish Mr. Trump had obstructed justice.

The New York Times and The Washington Post published reports Wednesday evening saying some of Mueller's investigators believed the results of the special counsel's investigation were more damaging to Mr. Trump than Barr's letter revealed. The Post reported Mueller's investigators had prepared several summaries on their own with the expectation they would be made public.

Nadler encouraged Barr to release Mueller office's summaries to the public before the attorney general testifies before Congress.

"Additionally, if the Special Counsel's summaries fit the summary you provided on March 24, that would alleviate substantial concerns that the House Judiciary Committee may wish to discuss when you appear to testify," Nadler wrote Thursday. "If there is significant daylight between his account and yours, the American people should know that too."

Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec released a statement Thursday morning saying the department was concerned about releasing confidential grand jury information and is working with Mueller's office to determine what material should be redacted from the 400-page report before it's released to the public.

"Given the extraordinary public interest in the matter, the Attorney General decided to release the report's bottom-line findings and his conclusions immediately — without attempting to summarize the report — with the understanding that the report itself would be released after the redaction process," Kupec said. "As the Attorney General stated in his March 29th letter to Chairman Graham and Chairman Nadler, he does not believe the report should be released in 'serial or piecemeal fashion.' The Department continues to work with the special counsel on appropriate redactions to the report so that it can be released to Congress and the public."