Rudy Giuliani, a personal attorney to President Donald Trump, said he wants Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to have full access to special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation.
The former New York City mayor claimed, however, that Attorney General William Barr, whom Trump nominated to lead the Justice Department in December, has final say on which parts of the report will be released to the public.
“I would like [Nadler] to get all the information,” Giuliani said during an appearance Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “Everything. But I can’t control that and I can’t change the law. The attorney general has a difficult job.”
Barr sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee on March 24, outlining what he believes are the key findings from Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump obstructed justice.
In his letter to the committee, Barr said Mueller’s report did not determine that Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia. Barr also noted that with respect to obstruction of justice, Mueller said his report neither concluded Trump committed a crime nor did it exonerate him.
Nonetheless, Trump has repeatedly claimed “total exoneration” in the wake of Mueller’s investigation.
Investigators on Mueller’s team believe Barr’s characterization of the special counsel’s report “failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry,” The New York Times reported Wednesday. Some told associates that evidence gathered on the question of obstruction was “alarming and significant.”
Nadler, who appeared on “Face the Nation” minutes before Giuliani on Sunday, called Barr “biased” and dismissed the conclusions drawn in his letter to the House Judiciary Committee.
“He is someone who is an agent of the administration, is a political appointee of the president, whose interests he may very well be protecting here,” Nadler said.
He called on Barr to hand over Mueller’s full report to the committee without any redactions and said it’s not up to the attorney general to decide what Congress can and cannot see.
Giuliani later hit back at Nadler for claiming Barr is biased.
“I didn’t appreciate [Nadler’s] suggestion the attorney general be biased,” he told CBS. “I know Bill Barr for many, many years. ... He’s a man of the highest integrity.”
Barr’s appointment to lead the Justice Department and his subsequent letter to Congress about the Mueller report last month have drawn scrutiny from Democratic lawmakers given his past comments about the investigations.
In June 2018, Barr criticized Mueller’s focus on obstruction of justice in an unsolicited 19-page memo to Justice Department officials.
“The practical implications of Mueller’s approach, especially in light of its ‘shapeless’ concept of obstruction, are astounding,” Barr wrote.
Though Trump’s camp has claimed only Barr can determine whether to release the full report to Congress and the public, others disagree.
Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, who helped draft the special counsel regulations, wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post last month that Congress could likely subpoena the report if Barr refused to provide it.
Members of the House Judiciary Committee voted last week to allow Nadler to issue a subpoena for Mueller’s full report after Barr said he would not meet Democrats’ April 2 for handing over the report.