Since then media reports cite unnamed Mueller staff saying that Mr Barr downplayed the obstruction evidence they presented.
All we have right now is a summary of it (one very biased in favor of Trump at that), and, while the release of the full report is promised by Attorney General Bill Barr, it promises to be very heavily redacted, far from the complete picture of the investigation that the American public deserves to see. "Until someone shows me a provision" permitting the release of grand jury material, Barr added, "Congress doesn't get" that material.
President Donald Trump took a victory lap after special counsel Robert Mueller concluded his Russian Federation investigation. She also suggested Barr had made up his mind on the obstruction question long ago, pointing to a memo he wrote in June 2018 on his view that a president can not legally obstruct justice. But the issue is sure to get more attention when Barr appears Wednesday before the panel's GOP-led Senate counterpart.
In excerpts from her opening statement released Monday night, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., said that Barr's summary letter "raises more questions than it answers". And Collins likely hopes he'll be able to put concern about a "cover-up" to rest with two questions: "Do you believe that Attorney General Barr has deliberately worked to soften your report's impact on President Trump, and does the public version of the report accurately represent the scope of your findings?"
"Even for someone who has done this job before, I would argue it's more suspicious than impressive", Lowey said.
"He is attorney general of the United States of America, not the attorney general of Donald Trump".
Explaining the rapid turnaround for his letter, Barr said, "The thinking of the special counsel was not a mystery to the Department of Justice prior to the submission of the report".
Other Democrats made similar comments on Barr's decisions related to the review of Mueller's probe, which, according to Barr, found no evidence of collusion and did not make a determination on obstruction of justice.
He said the White House did not review the letter to Congress laying out Mueller's findings before he sent it. Barr is up against Democratic Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.
"I don't intend at this stage to send the full unredacted report to the committee", he said, referring to the House Judiciary Committee, which last week threatened the attorney general with a subpoena. "We look forward to hearing from Mr. Mueller at the appropriate time". Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Trump seems to have belatedly recognized the political danger.
WILLIAM BARR: Within a week, I will be in a position to release the report to the public.
The Democrats are demanding that they see the full report and all its underlying evidence, though Trump and his Republican allies are pushing back.
Mr Barr would not discuss the substance of Mr Mueller's findings but did explain his process for receiving and reviewing the report.
The impending release of the 400-page report is expected to shed light on some of the more contentious episodes of Trump's election bid and presidency, including his firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation head James Comey in 2017 and his campaign's contacts with Russians.
Mr Barr did confirm however, that he will release the report "within a week".