In a new statement, Department of Justice spokesperson Kerri Kupec defended Attorney General Bill Barr's letter to Congress summarizing his "principal conclusions" from the Mueller report, reiterating that it was not an attempt to summarize the report itself.

"Every page of the 'confidential report' provided to Attorney General Barr on March 22, 2019 was marked 'May Contain Material Protected Under Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)' - a law that protects confidential grand jury information - and therefore could not be publicly released. Given the extraordinary public interest in the matter, the Attorney General decided to release the report's bottom-line findings and is conclusions immediately — without attempting to summarize the report — with the understanding that the report itself would be released after the redaction process. As the Attorney General stated in his March 29th letter to Chairman Graham and Chairman Nadler, he does not believe the report should be released in 'serial or piecemeal fashion.' The Department continues to work with the Special Counsel on appropriate redactions to the report so that it can be released to Congress and the public."

The backdrop: The new statement follows reports in the New York Times and Washington Post that members of special counsel Robert Mueller's team were upset that Barr did not adequately summarize the report in his letter. Some Mueller investigators have reportedly told associates that their findings were more troubling for President Trump than Attorney General William Barr has indicated.

Go deeper

Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.
2 hours ago - World

China embraces hostage diplomacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Chinese government is threatening to detain foreign citizens unless their home governments do what Beijing demands. In some cases, China has already made good on those threats.

The big picture: This marks a potential evolution of China's "wolf warrior diplomacy" to outright rogue state behavior, putting it in the company of countries like North Korea and Iran, which have also engaged in hostage diplomacy.

Justice Department sues Google over alleged search monopoly

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The Justice Department and 11 states Tuesday filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, accusing the company of using anticompetitive tactics to illegally monopolize the online search and search advertising markets.

Why it matters: The long-awaited suit is Washington's first major blow against the tech giants that many on both the right and left argue have grown too large and powerful. Still, this is just step one in what could be a lengthy and messy court battle.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!