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Barr says Mueller's thinking was "not a mystery" to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and other senior Justice Department leaders who had been supervising the probe for almost two years.

Collins asked Nadler, who leads the Democratic majority that has the power to convene hearings, to invite Mueller to appear during the week of April 22.

The assertion came during an appearance before members of the House Appropriations Committee, where questions about Barr's handling of the report on whether US President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russian Federation dominated what otherwise would have been a routine budget hearing.

Barr said neither Mueller nor his team had reviewed his March 24 summary of the long-awaited report's conclusions, which allowed Trump to declare "complete and total exoneration" but also led to reports that some of Mueller's staff took issue with Barr's conclusions. And Democrats immediately called for Mueller to testify and for his entire 400-page report to be released.

Democrats repeatedly criticized Barr for his handling of the report, including taking it upon himself in the letter to decide that Trump should not be charged with obstruction of justice. "So numerous questions here today have gone toward a grassy knoll conspiracy theory", Aderholt said.

"Barr told Lowey the thinking of the Special Counsel "was not a mystery to the people at the Department of Justice prior to his submission of the report" on March 22". And given Barr's statements on Tuesday, it seems that beginning impeachment proceedings may be best, or at least the most efficient, way to get it.

The Mueller report is not the objective of the meeting, and in a prepared statement released ahead of the session Barr does not mention it.

"I'm a lawyer, I'm not in charge of health care", Barr insisted to a House Appropriations subcommittee.

Barr told lawmakers that the Justice Department's inspector-general would be completing an investigation of how surveillance applications were used in the Russian Federation investigation by "May or June".

Barr's inquiry is separate from a long-running investigation by the Justice Department's inspector general, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive matters.

Barr is responding to questions from House Democrats about how he reviewed Mueller's almost 400-page report and released a letter laying out its principal findings within two days. He said he could be open to eventually releasing some of the redacted material after consulting with congressional leaders, but he drew a line against grand jury information, which would require court approval. He added that intelligence agencies are also reviewing details that might harm sources and methods. "We want to make sure that non of the information in the report impinge upon either the ability for prosecutors to prosecute the cases for the fairness to the defendants".

Barr told a House subcommittee Tuesday that the redactions process was going "very well", and he would use color-coded categories and explain the rationale for the redactions that are made from Mueller's almost 400-page report.

Another potential category that doesn't apply, Barr has said, is information covered by executive privilege; the president has in effect waived privilege.

The Justice Department has said a redacted version of Mueller's report will be made public in mid-April. "I do not believe it would be in the public's interest for me to attempt to summarize the full report or to release it in serial or piecemeal fashion".

"I am relying on my own discretion to make as much public as I can".

"This whole mechanism for the Special Counsel ... was established during the Clinton administration in the wake of Ken Starr's report, and that's why the current rule says that the report should be kept confidential, because there was a lot of reaction against the publication of Ken Starr's report".

He also criticized those calling for the report's release as hypocritical. The reports said that some of the evidence against Trump was more damning than Barr's letter indicated.