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Mueller asked Barr to release report's key findings


Special counsel Robert Mueller twice asked Attorney General William Barr to release Mueller's own summary of the findings from his final report on Russian election interference, according to a letter released Wednesday.

The House Judiciary Committee released a letter from Mueller to Barr, dated March 27, in which the special counsel expressed concerns that Barr's four-page summary of his findings "did not fully capture the context, nature and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions."

Mueller added in the letter that his team first reached out to the Justice Department with their concerns on March 25, one day after Barr's letter summarizing the findings was published.

The full letter from Mueller to Barr was released as the attorney general arrived to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions," Mueller wrote on March 27. "We communicated that concern to the Department on the morning of March 25. There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation."

Mueller wrote that he'd sent Barr on March 25 the introduction and executive summary for each volume of the report with appropriate redactions to be made public.

Barr did not release the executive summaries, instead providing Congress with a four-page summary that detailed the investigation's principle conclusions that the Trump campaign did not collude with the Russian government and that the special counsel did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice.

Mueller's letter prompted uproar among Democrats, some of whom seized on Mueller's concerns to suggest Barr had carried water for the president and should resign.

Barr on Wednesday defended his handling of the summary and disputed the extent of Mueller's disagreements. He told senators that he'd offered Mueller a chance to review the four-page summary before it was published and that the special counsel declined.

Barr said Mueller told him in a subsequent phone call that the "press reporting" surrounding his four-page summary "had been inaccurate." The attorney general said Mueller was specifically concerned about reports on why he did not reach a conclusion to exonerate or implicate the president on obstruction of justice charges.

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