House Democrats are preparing to battle Attorney General William Barr over the release of secret evidence from Mueller’s report which did not lead to any charges, USA Today reports. In particular, the impending clash between Congress and the Department of Justice will focus on evidence that was gathered using grand juries.
Barr has stated that he must keep this evidence secret per federal law, but this conflicts with recent high-profile cases, which saw the government disclose such evidence. Regardless, this kind of evidence is sensitive because grand juries allow prosecutors to force witnesses to testify, no matter how reluctant they are.
For Democratic lawmakers, this evidence is necessary to gain a better picture of Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States election, which found that Trump’s campaign was not guilty of collusion. In addition, the report did not come to a conclusion on Trump committing obstruction of justice charges.
Per USA Today, the historic battle for the information could begin as early as Wednesday.
“In many ways, I think the important thing is not so much the report, as the backup material,” said Paul Rosenzweig, who was a prosecutor on the team that investigated President Bill Clinton.
Mueller’s investigation used grand juries extensively, but without the evidence revealed, it is unclear how much of the final report utilized the evidence they revealed.
Congress is preparing for a historic fight over whether it will ever get access to some of the most sensitive evidence gathered during Robert Mueller's investigation, @ganjansen report . https://t.co/KvPWwhfQnC
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) March 31, 2019
Nick Akerman, an assistant special prosecutor during Watergate, claims prosecutors were able to get a “road map” of grand jury evidence released to the House of Representatives to aid in potential impeachment proceedings. He added that the public interest for such evidence takes a much higher priority than individual privacy in such high-profile cases.
“They certainly should go to court and get an order releasing this thing. They’ve got an absolutely legitimate right to know what’s in there and should have every single fact that is in there and know exactly why Mueller made the decisions he made. Even worse, what you’ve got now is an attorney general who has basically sugarcoated the thing by making his own decision on obstruction of justice on a totally bogus ground.”
Per The Inquisitr, Barr previously stated that he plans to release Mueller’s report “by mid-April, if not sooner.” He claims that there are “no plans to submit the report to the White House” before the release of the nearly 400-page report. However, he did say that the Justice Department is working to redact sensitive information.