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Barr defends actions to Senate after Mueller’s complaints

Last Updated May 1, 2019 at 8:56 am PDT

Attorney General William Barr arrives to testify during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, on the Mueller Report. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr defended his handling of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report on Wednesday amid new revelations that Mueller expressed frustration to Barr about how the attorney general was portraying the investigation’s findings.

Barr’s first appearance on Capitol Hill since releasing a redacted version of the report, presented a dramatic showdown as Democrats confronted him with allegations that he spun the investigation’s findings in President Donald Trump’s favor. Democrats were also likely to accuse him of misleading lawmakers last month when he suggested he was unaware of concerns on the Mueller team about his actions.

Barr’s appearance Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee highlighted the partisan schism around Mueller’s report and the Justice Department’s handling of it. It gave the attorney general his most extensive opportunity to explain the department’s actions, including his press conference held before the report’s release, and for him to repair a reputation bruised by allegations that he’s the Republican president’s protector.