The Latest: Barr says Mueller was never blocked

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation (all times local):

5:55 p.m.

Attorney General William Barr says the Justice Department did not block special counsel Robert Mueller from taking any action during his Russia investigation.

Barr is required to disclose to Congress any instance in which he or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided an action Mueller proposed should not be pursued.

Barr said in his letter to members of Congress on Friday that “there were no such instances during the Special Counsel’s investigation.”

The attorney general notified four key lawmakers that he may update them over the weekend.

5:40 p.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer say it’s “imperative” to make the full report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller public.

The top congressional Democrats say, “The American people have a right to the truth.”

In a joint statement, they say Attorney Gneral William Barr must not give President Donald Trump his lawyers or staff any “sneak preview” of the findings or evidence.

“The White House must not be allowed to interfere in decisions about what parts of those findings or evidence are made public,” they say.

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5:39 p.m.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee says Congress should receive the full report from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler says in a statement that “We look forward to getting the full Mueller report and related materials.” He adds that “transparency and the public interest demand nothing less” because the public needs to have faith in the rule of law.

Attorney General William Barr wrote in a letter to Nadler and other committee chairmen that Mueller had finished his investigation and delivered his report to Barr. The attorney general said he would update Congress as soon as this weekend, but it wasn’t clear now much of the report would be shared with lawmakers or with the public.

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5:38 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidates are demanding that Attorney General William Barr make Robert Mueller’s report on Russia public.

Minutes after Barr notified members of Congress Friday that Mueller had delivered his report, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts tweeted that the attorney general should “release the Mueller report to the American public. Now.”

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey tweeted that the report “should be made public immediately.”

The Trump administration’s handling of Mueller’s report foretells big fights to come, from the presidential campaign trail to, in all likelihood, the federal courts.

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5:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s lawyers say they are “pleased” that special counsel Robert Mueller has delivered his report on the Russia investigation.

Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow issued their joint statement within minutes of Attorney General William Barr’s letter to key members of Congress confirming the delivery and suggesting he could update lawmakers as soon as this weekend.

They say: “We’re pleased that the Office of Special Counsel has delivered its report to the Attorney General pursuant to the regulations. Attorney General Barr will determine the appropriate next steps.”

Mueller’s report, still confidential, sets the stage for big public fights to come, including in all likelihood, in federal court. It’s not clear how much of the report will become public or provided to Congress.

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5:20 p.m.

Responding to the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, the White House says the next steps are “up to Attorney General (William) Barr.”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says “we look forward to the process taking its course.”

She adds, “The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel’s report.”

For 22 months, Mueller has probed allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election and other potential misdeeds by those in President Donald Trump’s orbit.

Barr has said he will provide updates on Mueller’s still-confidential findings to Congress as soon as this weekend.

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5:15 p.m.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report concluding the Russia investigation was delivered by a security officer early Friday afternoon to the office of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

That’s according to Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec. It was then delivered within minutes to Attorney General William Barr.

The White House was notified around 4:35-4:40 p.m. that the Justice Department had received the report.

The letter was scheduled to be delivered at 5 p.m. to staff members on Capitol Hill.

Rosenstein was expected to call Mueller on Friday to thank him for his work in the last two years.

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5:07 p.m.

Attorney General William Barr says he could update Congress as early as this weekend about special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings in the Russia investigation.

The Justice Department confirmed late Friday that Barr received Mueller’s final report. The report concludes Mueller’s nearly two-year-long investigation of Russian election interference and possible coordination with President Donald Trump’s campaign.

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5:03 p.m.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has concluded his investigation into Russian election interference and possible coordination with associates of President Donald Trump.

The Justice Department says Mueller delivered his final report Friday to Attorney General William Barr, who is reviewing it.

Mueller’s report, still confidential, sets the stage for big public fights to come. The next steps are up to Trump’s attorney general, to Congress and, in all likelihood, federal courts.

It’s not clear how much of the report will become public or provided to Congress. Barr has said he will write his own report summarizing Mueller’s findings.

The nearly two-year probe has shadowed Trump’s presidency and resulted in felony charges against 34 people including six people who served on Trump’s campaign.

AP-WF-03-22-19 2143GMT

Associated Press

Associated Press

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