Justice Department to release two versions of redacted Mueller report

Two versions of the redacted special counsel report will be released – one to the public and another that some members of Congress will be allowed to view with fewer redactions, according to the Justice Department.

“Once the redacted version of the report has been released to the public, the Justice Department plans to make available for review by a limited number of Members of Congress and their staff a copy of the Special Counsel’s report without certain redactions, including removing the redaction of information related to the charges set forth in the indictment in this case,” federal prosecutors wrote in a court filing Wednesday, according to The Hill.

Some of the redactions will be because of the gag order in the case involving GOP operative Roger Stone, who faces trial after pleading not guilty to obstruction of justice, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress as part of Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling and possible collusion during the 2016 presidential election.

The filing states that the DOJ will ask the court for guidance if lawmakers ask for a copy of the full report or section of it “such that there exists a reasonable likelihood that the information related to the charges set forth in the indictment in this case may be available to the media, or accessible in a public setting, or ‘disseminated by means of public communication.’ ”

The federal prosecutors will first “secure” the less-redacted version and will keep it in an “appropriate setting” before allowing some members of Congress and their staff to see it, according to CNN.

Meanwhile, a group of House Democrats are calling for Attorney General William Barr to cancel his planned Thursday conference.

“The Department of Justice announced today that the Attorney General will hold a press conference tomorrow morning before Congress has even seen Special Counsel Mueller’s report,” they said in a statement Wednesday.

“This press conference, which apparently will not include Special Counsel Mueller, is unnecessary and inappropriate, and appears designed to shape public perceptions of the report before anyone can read it,” they added.

The statement was signed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters and Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel.

The House Democrats also voiced concerns over a report that said Justice officials have already briefed the White House on Mueller’s report.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that DOJ officials have had “numerous conversations” with Team Trump, and that the discussions have allowed for the president’s lawyers to prepare a rebuttal to Mueller’s report.

“There is no legitimate reason for the Department to brief the White House prior to providing Congress a copy of the report,” the Democrats said.

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