67ºF

Attorney general to send less redacted Mueller report to top-ranking lawmakers

Trump blasts Russia probe as 'political hoax'

Donald Trump, Robert Mueller (Win McNamee/Getty Images & Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – Here's the latest on special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russia and President Donald Trump (all times local):

 

6:25 p.m.

The Justice Department says it will provide Congress with a second version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report that has fewer redactions in the coming two weeks.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said in a letter to lawmakers Thursday that the Justice Department will make the report available to House and Senate leaders, as well as the top Republicans and Democrats on the judiciary and intelligence committees. Each lawmaker can also have a staff member present.

Boyd says the report will be provided in a secure reading room at the Justice Department next week and in a secure room in the Capitol the week of April 29.

The unredacted material will include classified information and material involving private citizens who were not charged. It won't include secret grand jury information.

5:55 p.m.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's report has finally been released to the public, and it spells out how President Donald Trump tried to seize control of the Russia probe and choke off the investigation of possible obstruction of justice.

Trump is claiming vindication, but Mueller said the president was thwarted only by the refusal of some of those around him to follow his orders.

Mueller laid out multiple episodes in which Trump directed others to influence or curtail the Russia investigation after the special counsel's appointment in May 2017.

The report says those efforts "were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests."

2 p.m.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee says he'll be issuing a subpoena for the full special counsel report and the underlying materials.

New York Rep. Jerry Nadler says the report "outlines disturbing evidence" that President Donald Trump engaged in misconduct.

A redacted version of Robert Mueller's report was released on Thursday.

Nadler says the attorney general's decision to withhold the full report from lawmakers is "regrettable, but no longer surprising."

He says it's now up to Congress to hold the president accountable for his actions in the Russian probe.

The chairman has asked Mueller to testify before the panel by May 23.

1:50 p.m.

Congress' two top Democrats say the special counsel's report "appears to undercut" Attorney General William Barr's assertion that it lacked sufficient evidence to conclude that President Donald Trump obstructed justice.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer say there's a big difference between Barr's description of Robert Mueller's report and what the 448-page document actually reveals. Their joint statement suggests that Democrats are prepared to press the obstruction issue even as the presidential election season approaches.

Barr described the report to journalists before the Justice Department released it. His remarks were largely positive toward Trump, saying Mueller found no cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

Pelosi and Schumer say the "differences are stark" between Barr's account of the report's findings and the report itself.

12:35 p.m.

Attorney General William Barr says a version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report with fewer redactions will be made available to a small group of lawmakers.

In a letter to Congress on Thursday, Barr says the second version of the report would be given to the "Gang of Eight," the top-ranking House and Senate lawmakers from both parties who can view sensitive classified information. The chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate judiciary committees will also receive it.

Barr said all redactions would be removed from that version of the report except those relating to grand-jury information.

The attorney general said, "I do not believe that I have discretion to disclose grand-jury information to Congress. Nevertheless, this accommodation will allow you to review the bulk of the redacted material for yourselves."

Democrats want the full report released.

   ------

12:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer is suggesting the president was ensnared in some kind of "counterintelligence frame-up."

Rudy Giuliani is responding to the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

Giuliani is suggesting, without evidence, that the idea of collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia began earlier than was outlined in Mueller's report.

He's says it, "Sounds like a counterintelligence trap to me."

Giuliani also says that, throughout the investigation, Trump was trying to avoid the "perjury trap" that he claims others fell into.

Giuliani says he and other members of the president's legal team read the full report in a secure room at the Justice Department earlier this week. He insists it doesn't contain a "single surprise."

He spoke Thursday on Fox News Channel after the report's public release.

12:20 p.m.

Special counsel Robert Mueller says President Donald Trump's efforts to influence the Russia investigation "were mostly unsuccessful," but that was because the people surrounding the president "declined to carry out orders to accede to his requests."

Mueller's report details instances by several officials, including former FBI Director James Comey, former White House counsel Don McGahn and former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, ignoring or refusing Trump's requests to interfere in the investigation.

The Justice Department released a redacted version of Mueller's report on Thursday.

 

12:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump's lawyer is defending him after the special counsel's report said Trump tried to seize control of the Russia investigation.

Rudy Giuliani, speaking to Fox News, said Trump "did not have a guilty motive."

A redacted version of Robert Mueller's report was released Thursday. The incidents scrutinized by Mueller's team include Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey, the president's directive to subordinates to have Mueller fired and efforts to encourage witnesses not to cooperate.

Giuliani did not dispute the facts of those incidents, but said Trump was an innocent man reacting normally in the face of what he said was a heavily biased investigation. The former New York City mayor said the efforts were "an attempt not to get framed."

12:10 p.m.

Three House Republican leaders say the special counsel's report on President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and Russian interference in that election have vindicated the president.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says the report by Robert Mueller shows it's time to move on from Democrats' effort to "vilify a political opponent." The California lawmaker says the report lacks "imaginary evidence" incriminating Trump that Democrats have sought.

No. 2 House GOP leader Steve Scalise says Trump didn't cooperate with Russians or obstruct investigators. The Louisianan says Democrats should apologize for "this smear campaign."

The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee is Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, and he says Democrats' claims that Trump obstructed the probe were unfounded.

Top Senate Republicans were more cautious, praising the investigation but saying they looked forward to learning the report's details.

12 p.m.

The spokesman for Vladimir Putin says it's not yet clear if the Russian president will be informed in detail of the special counsel's report on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Dmitry Peskov spoke to state news agency Tass shortly after the report was released in Washington on Thursday.

He said, "First we will have to leaf through it and understand if there is something deserving analysis."

   ------

11:45 a.m.

The Mueller report appears to be most heavily redacted in its first section, which covers Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and examines contacts between Russian representatives and the Trump campaign. The report concludes there was no criminal culpability by Trump aides.

Several pages in that first section are almost entirely blacked out. The report's second section, examining possible obstruction by President Donald Trump, appears more lightly redacted.

The Justice Department's careful excisions begin as early as the fourth page of the report.

Barr said he was withholding grand jury and classified information as well as portions relating to ongoing investigation and the privacy or reputation of uncharged "peripheral" people.

In referencing an oligarch who headed up a team of Russian tech experts who used U.S. social media to exploit American political controversies, Justice officials blacked out details about the man's ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

   ------

11:40 a.m.

Special counsel Robert Mueller found that contacts between Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak and Trump campaign officials in April 2016 and at the 2016 GOP convention were "brief, public, and non-substantive."

Mueller's assessment came as part of his investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Mueller's report adds that his office "did not establish" that efforts to alter the GOP platform's language on Ukraine at the convention were done at the behest of Trump or Russia.

Additionally, Mueller did not establish that a conversation between Kislyak and then-Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions in September 2016 included "any more than a passing mention of the presidential campaign." Sessions later served as Trump's attorney general.

   ------

11:35 a.m.

Two of the Senate's top Republicans are praising Attorney General William Barr for releasing the special counsel's report on the 2016 election. But they're stopping short of joining Barr in proclaiming that the report vindicates President Donald Trump.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says in a written statement, "I look forward to carefully reviewing the report."

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham says his panel is studying the report. The South Carolina Republican says he's eager to hear Barr's May 1 testimony to his panel.

Both lawmakers issued their statements minutes after the Justice Department released a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

Barr told reporters earlier that Mueller found that Trump's campaign did not cooperate with Russians who interfered in the election and that there was insufficient evidence to say Trump obstructed investigators.

   ------

11:32 a.m.

Donald Trump's legal team says the results of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation are a "total victory for the president."

The lawyers say in a statement that Mueller's report is "nothing more than an attempt to rehash old allegations." The statement came as Mueller's report was publicly released.

Mueller found no criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russia government to interfere in the 2016 election. He did not exonerate Trump on the question of whether he committed obstruction of justice.

   ------

11:30 a.m.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team was dissatisfied with written responses from President Donald Trump, but decided against issuing a subpoena for an interview.

In Mueller's report released Thursday, prosecutors call Trump's answers "inadequate." They considered issuing a subpoena for Trump, but decided against it after weighing the likelihood of a long legal battle.

Prosecutors also said they had enough information from other sources to draw "relevant factual conclusions on intent and credibility."

Mueller's team investigated contacts between Trump's campaign and Russia and whether the president obstructed justice. The written answers did not cover obstruction of justice.

   ------

11:28 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he's "having a good day" following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

And he says that no president should ever have to go through what he did again.

Speaking at an unrelated White House event, he says, "It was called no collusion, no obstruction." And add, "there never was, by the way, and there never will be."

Trump is also renewing his calls for an investigation into the origins of the inquiry, saying "We do have to get to the bottom of these things."

He says: "this should never happen to another president again, this hoax."

Trump is speaking an event honoring the Wounded Warrior Project's Soldier Ride, a multi-day bike ride for wounded veterans and service member.

   ------ 

11:25 a.m.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Russia investigation is two volumes and 448 pages long including attachments.

The report's first volume details Russian election interference and the second relates to whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice

  

11:04 a.m.

Robert Mueller's report reveals President Donald Trump's efforts to seize control of the Russia probe and force the special counsel's removal.

A redacted version of Mueller's report was released Thursday morning.

File: READ -- Redacted Mueller Report

10:45 a.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Attorney General William Barr is involved in a "staggering public effort" by the Trump administration to put a positive face on special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

The California Democrat is referring to Barr's morning news conference, where he said the report found no cooperation between Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russian interference in that election. Pelosi is also citing Barr's statement that he gave Trump's personal attorney an early look at the report, before its public release.

Pelosi says it is "more urgent than ever" that Mueller testify before Congress. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler has formally invited Mueller to testify as soon as possible.

A redacted version of Mueller's report is due to be released later Thursday morning.

10:40 a.m.

The Senate's top Democrat is mocking Attorney General William Barr's news conference on special counsel Robert Mueller's report as a "campaign press conference" for President Donald Trump.

The tweet by New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer also says it is time to release Mueller's report on his investigation into the Trump 2016 presidential campaign and Russian interference in the election. Schumer is Senate minority leader.

Barr told reporters at a news conference that the report found no cooperation between the campaign and Russia and no effort by Trump to thwart investigators.

The Justice Department planned to release the report later Thursday morning. Barr says portions of it will be blacked out to protect national security secrets, grand jury investigations and other sensitive information. Democrats have said they want the full report released.

10:30 a.m.

Attorney General William Barr says he and deputy Rod Rosenstein disagreed with some of special counsel Robert Mueller's "legal theories" pertaining to obstruction of justice, but that didn't influence their decision that President Donald Trump didn't commit a crime.

In a press conference ahead of the report's expected release, Barr says Mueller reviewed 10 episodes as part of his investigation into whether Trump committed obstruction of justice. Barr says he and Rosenstein "felt that some of the episodes examined did not amount to obstruction as a matter of law."

The attorney general maintains that they set their feelings on the matter aside and accepted Mueller's "legal framework for purposes of our analysis" when they determined that the evidence gathered by Mueller was "not sufficient to establish" that Trump had violated the law.

10:25 a.m.

A Republican Ohio congressman who's been one of President Donald Trump's staunchest defenders is hailing Attorney General William Barr's statements that the special counsel's report has concluded there is no evidence that Trump's campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election or that he tried thwarting investigators.

Rep. Jim Jordan is tweeting, "No collusion! No obstruction! Complete cooperation from the President. No executive privilege asserted."

Jordan issued his remarks shortly after Barr spoke to reporters. The report was expected to be released later Thursday morning.

10:15 a.m.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is asking special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before his panel as soon as possible about his report on the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Chairman Jerrold Nadler released a three-sentence letter to Mueller requesting his appearance, minutes after Attorney General William Barr ended a news conference in which he described the special counsel's report. The New York Democrat tweeted that Congress and the public need to hear directly from Mueller to "better understand his findings."

Nadler wrote in his letter that he wants Mueller to testify by May 23 and asked for his "prompt attention" to the request.

Barr said at his news conference that he did not object to Mueller testifying.

10:05 a.m.

Attorney General William Barr says he will allow Congress to view special counsel Robert Mueller's report with nothing redacted other than grand jury information.

Barr says three other categories of information also were redacted in the publicly released report, including information pertaining to ongoing prosecutions and sensitive intelligence sources and methods.

Barr says he hopes that giving Congress access to the less redacted report and his upcoming testimony on Capitol Hill "will satisfy any need Congress has for information regarding the special counsel's investigation."

Barr spoke Thursday at a news conference with reporters shortly before the report's release.

10 a.m.

Attorney General William Barr says he has "no objection" to special counsel Robert Mueller testifying before Congress about his investigation.

Barr says: "I have no objection to Bob Mueller personally testifying."

Mueller remains a Justice Department employee, and Barr could have blocked Mueller from speaking to Congress. Democrats have discussed calling Mueller to testify but have yet to formally ask.

9:50 a.m.

Attorney General William Barr says President Donald Trump did not exert executive privilege over any information included in special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

He said the White House counsel reviewed a redacted version of the report before Trump decided not to invoke executive privilege.

Barr said "no material has been redacted based on executive privilege."

Barr spoke Thursday at a news conference with reporters.

9:45 a.m.

Attorney General William Barr says special counsel Robert Mueller's report recounts 10 episodes involving President Donald Trump that were investigated as potential acts of criminal obstruction of justice.

Barr says Mueller did not reach a "prosecutorial judgment" and that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded the evidence was not sufficient to establish the president committed an offense.

Barr spoke Thursday at a news conference with reporters.

9:40 a.m.

Lawyers for President Donald Trump reviewed the final redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report before its public release.

That's according to Attorney General William Barr, who said in Thursday's press conference that Trump's personal attorneys requested and were granted access to the report "earlier this week."

Barr says Trump's lawyers "were not permitted to make, and did not request, any redactions."

9:35 a.m.

Attorney General William Barr says he will give Congress a redacted copy of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigative report at 11 a.m. EDT.

He told reporters at the Justice Department that he would transmit to Congress copies of the public version of Mueller's investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 election and President Donald Trump's campaign.

Democrats complained that Barr's news conference was an effort to influence reaction to the report ahead of its release.

8:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump is blasting the investigation into Russian election meddling as "The Greatest Political Hoax of all time!" hours before the long-awaited release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report Thursday.

Trump's first tweet of the day blasted investigators.

Trump tweeted, "Crimes were committed by Crooked, Dirty Cops and DNC/The Democrats," although there is no evidence of that. Trump frequently calls the probe into contacts between his 2016 campaign and Russia a "witch hunt."

After nearly two years of waiting, America will get its first glimpse of Mueller's report later Thursday-- but not before Attorney General William Barr weighs in at a 9:30 a.m. press conference.

A redacted version of the nearly 400-page report will be delivered to Congress on CDs between 11 a.m. and noon and then be posted for the public on the special counsel's website.

7:55 a.m.

Attorney General William Barr's news conference Thursday will address the Justice Department's interactions with the White House over special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

That's according to a Justice Department official who wasn't authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Barr has faced intense criticism from Democrats over his decision to hold a news conference before releasing Mueller's report to the American people and Congress.

Barr is scheduled to release a redacted version of Mueller's report. Lawmakers have said they want to see the full report, without redactions.

6:45 a.m.

Congress' top Democrats are calling for special counsel Robert Mueller to appear before Congress "as soon as possible" to testify about his report on Russia election meddling and contacts with the Trump campaign.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement Thursday that Attorney General William Barr's "partisan handling" of Mueller's report has "resulted in a crisis of confidence in his independence and impartiality."

Barr is scheduled to release a redacted version of Mueller's report Thursday after he holds a news conference about it.

Pelosi and Schumer criticized Mueller's plan to "spin the report in a press conference" before allowing Congress and the public to see it. They said "the American people deserve to hear the truth."

12:24 a.m.

A redacted version of the special counsel's report on Russian election interference and the Trump campaign is stirring controversy even before its release.

Democrats say a news conference ahead of the redacted report's release on Thursday allows Attorney General William Barr to spin its contents before lawmakers and the public have a chance to read it.

The nearly 400-page report is expected to reveal what special counsel Robert Mueller uncovered about ties between the Trump campaign and Russia that fell short of criminal conduct.

Democrats have vowed to fight in court for the disclosure of additional information from the report. They are expected to seize on any negative portrait of the president to demand the release of the full report.