House Democratic chairmen demanded Wednesday that Attorney General William Barr cancel his press conference slated for Thursday morning to detail the special counsel’s report into the 2016 election, saying they don’t want him to shape Americans’ opinions.
The leaders of the Judiciary, Oversight and intelligence panels also complained about reports that the White House has been briefed on the findings already, saying that sounded like part of a whitewash effort.
“These new actions by the attorney general reinforce our concern that he is acting to protect President Trump,” the Democrats said.
Mr. Barr has scheduled a press briefing for 9:30 a.m. Thursday, and has signaled he will send a redacted version of the report to Congress, and release it to the public after that.
The committee chairmen say Mr. Barr should let the report speak for itself, without him trying to shape it or to answer questions about his decision-making.
Democrats’ combative approach contrasts with their more conciliatory reaction last month when special counsel Robert Mueller submitted his nearly 400-page report to Mr. Barr, who released a four-page summary describing the principal findings.
Mr. Mueller did not find evidence Mr. Trump conspired with Russia to subvert the election, Mr. Barr said, undercutting the accusation Democrats have lodged against the president since the 2016 campaign.
Mr. Barr also said Mr. Mueller did not have enough evidence to make a case of obstruction of justice against Mr. Trump. Many Democrats, egged on by a vehement never-Trump left wing, feel such a case should be made.