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US Attorney Barr refuses to testify before House over Mueller report

US Attorney General Bill Barr rejected allegations that he had whitewashed the Muller Russian interference report to protect Donald Trump.

The denial came during a Senate committee hearing held on Wednesday. However, the US Attorney General refused to appear before the House for questioning on Thursday.

Barr underwent tough questioning in the Senate Judiciary Committee over his decision last month to declare that Trump had been fully cleared by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — a move which Mueller himself objected to days later in a letter.

Democratic members of the committee accused Barr of skewing the truth and deliberately downplaying disturbing behavior by the president, even if it did not add up to a crime.

But Barr rejected the criticisms, saying that after Mueller submitted his final report, it was his “baby” and his prerogative as head of the Department of Justice to sum up its conclusions.

After more than four hours before the Senate panel, Barr was scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, where he likely faced more rigorous questioning, including by a committee lawyer.

But late Wednesday the Justice Department announced he wouldn’t appear, and would also not turn over to Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler a complete, unredacted version of the Mueller report.

“Unfortunately, even after the Attorney General volunteered to testify, Chairman Nadler placed conditions on the House Judiciary Committee hearing that are unprecedented and unnecessary,” said department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec.

“Chairman Nadler’s insistence on having staff question the Attorney General, a Senate-confirmed Cabinet member, is inappropriate.”

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