U.S. House judiciary chair seeks any Mueller summaries on Trump-Russia probe report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler called on Attorney General William Barr on Thursday to release any summaries of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia report that were prepared by Mueller’s team.

Nadler, a Democrat who is also demanding release of the full Mueller report to Congress, sent a letter to Barr citing media reports that Mueller’s team prepared their own summaries of the special counsel’s report.

“If these recent reports are accurate ... then those summaries should be publicly released as soon as possible,” Nadler said.

Nadler also called on Barr to produce “all communications” about the Mueller report between the special counsel’s office and the Justice Department, including those on Barr’s March 24 letter to Congress summarizing the investigation’s main conclusions and the disclosure of the report to Congress and the public.

Thursday’s letter surfaced hours after the Justice Department defended its handling of Mueller’s report on the investigation of Russian election meddling and contacts between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia. The department maintains that Barr must redact confidential and classified information from the nearly 400-page document.

But news media reports said that members of Mueller’s team were unhappy with the way Barr had characterized its main conclusions in his four-page summary. The Barr summary said Mueller did not establish that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia but also did not exonerate the president on obstruction of justice. But Barr said he concluded there was not enough evidence to show that Trump committed the crime of obstruction.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to authorize Nadler to issue subpoenas for the full report, underlying evidence from the 22-month investigation and documents and testimony from five former Trump aides.

Congress, not Barr, should determine what gets made public, Nadler said. He has yet to issue a subpoena.

“We are entitled to that information and we need that information,” Nadler told reporters on Thursday.

Reporting by David Morgan; editing by Grant McCool