Members of Congress and the public can finally read what special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of investigators found in their 22-month probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.
There is a catch, however: Readers cannot see every word, sentence and paragraph in the massive document.
Attorney General William Barr and his staff have been working with Mueller’s team for the better part of a month to identify — and remove — segments of the document that contain the following four categories of sensitive information:
Grand jury materials — Under federal rules, materials from grand jury proceedings are secret, although there are exceptions. Democrats are currently wrestling with the Justice Department over access to those materials.
Intelligence materials — The report contains information that comes from U.S. intelligence agencies. Officials are concerned about compromising sources and methods that America’s spies want to protect.
Information related to ongoing investigations — A number of high-profile investigations have been spun out of Mueller’s Russia probe, most notably the case against President Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen. Details that could reveal information about other ongoing investigations are scrubbed out of the redacted report.
Derogatory information about “peripheral” individuals — Barr told Congress the Justice Department would not reveal information it has uncovered about people — not including the president and other public office holders — who are not accused of a crime.
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