White House

Trump says Mueller report release timing ‘totally’ up to Barr

The president was asked after CNN reported Wednesday Mueller’s report could be finalized next week

William P. Barr, nominee to he Attorney General of the United States, speaks during his confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

During a Wednesday meeting with his Austrian counterpart, President Donald J. Trump said the release of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report would be “totally” up to Attorney General William Barr.

The president was asked after CNN reported Wednesday that Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report could be finalized next week.  Trump said releasing it — perhaps while he is in Vietnam — would be “totally” up to Attorney General William Barr.

“He’s a tremendous man, a tremendous person who really respects ... the Justice Department,” Trump said.

The CNN report cited sources “familiar with the plans” that Barr was preparing to announce — as early as next week — Mueller’s investigation was complete. After receiving the confidential report, Barr would later submit a report to Congress.

The Senate voted to confirm Barr last week as the next attorney general, mostly along party lines. 

During his confirmation hearings, legislators were not given a completely  clear picture of exactly how much information Barr will make public when Mueller III submits a report on his probe into the 2016 presidential election.

It ultimately became a central focus of the confirmation debate.

Barr replaced acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who has been in the spotlight since Jeff Sessions was forced to resign in November.

Todd Ruger contributed to this report.

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