AG Barr refuses to say whether he's shown White House the Mueller report


Attorney General Bill Barr refused to answer a yes-or-no question about whether the White House has seen or been briefed on special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

This is sure to raise some serious suspicions that Trump knows about what's in special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

Attorney General Bill Barr on Tuesday refused to answer a simple yes-or-no question about whether the White House has seen or been briefed on the contents of Mueller's report.

"Did the White House see the report before you released your summarizing letter?" Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) asked Barr during a hearing before the House Appropriations Committee. "Has the White House seen it since then? Have they been briefed on the contents beyond what was in your summarizing letter to the Judiciary Committee?"

Barr evaded.

"I've said what i'm going to say about the report today," Barr said, completely ignoring Lowey's question. "I've issued three letters about it. ... But I've already laid out the process going forward to release these reports hopefully within a week and I'm not going to say anything more about it until the report is out and everyone's had a chance to look at it."

It would be very easy to say whether the White House has seen or been briefed on the Mueller report. Answering that question would not reveal confidential information.

Yet Barr simply refused — raising serious questions about whether Trump and his White House have more information than they are letting on about Mueller's report.

Barr has been trying to shield Trump from scrutiny over the report for weeks, delaying the report's release to Congress and working on a series of redactions that is likely to lead to legal battles.

If Trump does know what's in the report, it raises questions about how much more damning the report is compared to Barr's initial bogus summary that Trump used to exclaim "complete and total exoneration."

In fact, in the days since the report has been released, Trump has grown increasingly angry about Mueller's report on Twitter.

Trump's change in tone already raised eyebrows about whether the report was much more damning than initial media reports made it out to be. And Barr's evasiveness on Tuesday will only seek to bolster that narrative.

Barr said Tuesday that a redacted version of the report will be released "within a week."

Assuming Barr doesn't redact the report to the extremes in an effort to further shield Trump from scrutiny, we could be in for a wild ride.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.