4 key takeaways from William Barr's testimony on the Mueller report

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Barr revealed the expected release of the watchdog report in testimony to lawmakers during a House budget hearing on April 9.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and other prominent Republicans have already indicated plans to launch new probes into how the investigation started, once the furor over the impending release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report has cooled.

He added that he is relying on his own discretion to make as much public as he can. They are grand jury materials, information that US spy agencies believe could reveal their sources or methods, information that could interfere with ongoing law enforcement investigations and information that touches on privacy or reputational interests of so-called peripheral individuals who weren't charged in the Russian Federation investigation.

Barr also dismissed accusations that he was hasty to release the March 24 letter outlining the conclusions of the report. Barr's statement mentions $16 million for a vetting program for those who wish to enter or remain in the United States, something he says will help the government "identify terrorists, criminals and other nefarious actors".

In addition to questions about the Mueller report, Barr is likely to be queried on the Justice Department lawsuit about the Affordable Care Act, as well as the Trump administration's immigration policies and family separation.

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"I haven't seen the referrals yet from Congressman Nunes, but obviously if there is a predicate for an investigation it will be conducted", Barr said. While Barr's letter said the special counsel did not find a criminal conspiracy between Russian Federation and Trump associates during the 2016 election, it also said Mueller had presented evidence on both sides of the obstruction question and ultimately did not reach a conclusion on it.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of NY tweeted that Barr's comments "directly contradict" what the Justice Department previously has said, and intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California said Barr's testimony surely pleases Trump but "also strikes another destructive blow to our democratic institutions".

Attorney General William Barr was on Capitol Hill today for a public hearing. Mueller also summarized the reasoning for and against bringing an obstruction charge against Trump. Barr released to the public a four-page summary of its principal conclusions two days after Mueller submitted his report, but many Democrats have called for the full report to be released.

The FBI's July 2016 counterintelligence investigation was formally opened by anti-Trump former FBI agent Peter Strzok.

Last week news reports suggested that members of Mueller's team are frustrated with Barr's letter, which they saw as oversimplifying their more complicated findings. He said that the letter may have been read to them, but they did not get a hard copy of it. Brian Schatz if he wanted to rephrase his language, Barr said, "I'm not sure of all the connotations of that word that you're referring to, but you know, unauthorized surveillance".