By Jonathan Allen
NEWYORK (Reuters) – A leading progressive advocacy group plans to hold rallies in Washington and other U.S. cities on Thursday to demand the full release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who received the confidential report last month at the close of Mueller’s 22-month investigation, has said he intended to release a redacted version to Congress and the public by mid-April.
But Barr did not meet a demand by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives to provide the unredacted report to lawmakers by Tuesday, April 2, prompting the liberal advocacy group MoveOn to press ahead with the rallies.
The rallies are due to be held outside the White House, in New York’s Times Square and about 300 other locations around the country late on Thursday afternoon to demand the report, which is nearly 400 pages long excluding appendices.
U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is due to address the White House rally. On Wednesday, Nadler, a Democrat, won a committee vote allowing him to subpoena the attorney general for the full report, along with documents and testimony from five former aides to Republican U.S. President Donald Trump.
Barr, a Trump appointee, has already made public what he described as the “principal conclusions” of Mueller’s report. Mueller’s team did not establish that Trump or his campaign conspired with Russia to help Trump win during the 2016 election, according to Barr’s four-page summary, an accusation Trump and his associates have long denied.
Mueller left unresolved in his report the question of whether Trump committed obstruction of justice by impeding the Russia investigation. In his letter to Congress, Barr said he and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, had determined there was insufficient evidence to establish the president committed that offence.
Mueller accused about two dozen Russians, including 12 officers from that country’s military intelligence service, of orchestrating a social media campaign using false identities to influence voters in 2016, and of hacking sometimes embarrassing emails from Democrats that were later published online.
Russia’s government has denied interfering in the U.S. election.
Barr told Congress in a letter last week that he must redact material presented to a grand jury, as required by law, as well as information that could reveal U.S. intelligence agencies’ sources and methods. Congressional Democrats have indicated they will fight those redactions in court if the subpoena is ignored.
(Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; editing by Frank McGurty and Jonathan Oatis)