While Attorney General William Barr answers questions on Capitol Hill about the special counsel report, Department of Justice attorneys are in court discussing the same topic.
DOJ attorney Courtney Enlow told a federal judge in Washington this morning that Barr is “well along” in the process of redacting the report for Congress.
Remember: Barr just said this to Congress, too, and added that the redacted report should be ready to release "within a week."
In court, the Justice Department wouldn’t say when the Mueller report will be released or if executive summaries provided by the Mueller team — as described in recent media reports— will be included in the report that Barr is currently redacting.
Why the DOJ is in court: The early lawsuit over the Mueller report’s release ultimately may prompt the court system to get involved in checking Barr’s redaction decisions, and perhaps fashion the release of a version of the report that’s redacted differently from what will be given to Congress this month.
That’s what the transparency group that brought the suit is hoping, the group said in court Tuesday.
The federal judge overseeing this request asked for a detailed update from DOJ on May 2 about the possible release of documents from the special counsel’s investigation to the public under the Freedom of Information Act.
The judge, Reggie Walton, said he would not step in immediately to get more information to the document requestor, a transparency group called the Electronic Privacy Information Center, but rather would allow for the Mueller report to be released first to Congress before asking for more details about the report’s subsequent release under the FOIA law.
Walton would “keep the parties on the fast track,” he said. “The public has the right to know what it can know.”
“This is an extremely important subject matter to the nation,” he added. It’s “important the government be as transparent as possible in what it produces.”