WASHINGTON — U.S. Attorney General William Barr appeared before Congress on Wednesday to defend his handling of special counsel Robert Mueller’s recent report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election and Barr’s controversial determination that President Donald Trump did not obstruct the investigation.
Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee for the first time since Mueller concluded his two-year investigation on March 22, Barr faced tough questions from Democrats about his decision to release a four-page summary of the report shortly after the investigation concluded but to hold off on making public the full report for several weeks.
“It was my baby whether or not to disclose it to the public,” he said. “I determined that it was in the public interest for the department to announce the investigation’s bottom-line conclusions, that is, the determination whether a provable crime has been committed or not. I did not believe that it was in the public interest to release additional portions of the report in piecemeal fashion, leading to public debate over incomplete information.