Graham: Trump won’t invoke executive privilege for Mueller report
President Donald Trump will not invoke executive privilege to withhold information from special counsel Robert Mueller’s confidential report and supports the public release of the investigation’s findings, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Wednesday.
Multiple sources told CNN earlier this month that White House lawyers expected to have an opportunity to review whatever version of Mueller’s report Attorney General William Barr submits to Congress before it reaches lawmakers and the public. The attorneys wanted the White House to have an opportunity to claim executive privilege over information drawn from documents and interviews with White House officials, the sources said.
But Sen. Lindsey Graham told CNN’s Kate Bolduan Wednesday he doubts the White House will see the Mueller report before it’s made public.
“The President told me, ‘Just release it,'” the South Carolina Republican, who’s been a staunch Trump ally in the Senate, said on “At This Hour.” Trump said Monday it “wouldn’t bother” him “at all” if Barr released the Mueller report.
The Justice Department announced Friday that the special counsel’s office has wrapped up its probe into Russian election interference and Mueller submitted a confidential report to Barr. Summarizing Mueller’s findings, Barr wrote to Congress that the investigation did not find any collusion between Trump campaign and Russia.
Mueller’s report also did not conclude that Trump committed a crime, but it “also does not exonerate him” of obstruction of justice, Barr wrote, quoting from the special counsel report.
A Justice Department official told CNN on Tuesday that there are “no plans” to give a copy of the report to the White House in advance of the public release, adding that it’s expected to take “weeks, not months” for Barr to make a version of Mueller’s report publicly available.
Graham, who met with Barr on Tuesday night, told CNN he believes the Mueller report will likely be released “sometime in April, probably.”
The senator was unsure of how much of the Mueller report would be made public after Barr removes grand jury material and classified intelligence information.
“Here’s what I do know: You’ll get everything that doesn’t compromise national security or violate the law,” Graham said.