William Barr, attorney general nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, listens during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)  

Graham Asks Mueller If He Wants to Testify About Barr Call

(Bloomberg) -- The Senate Judiciary chairman asked Special Counsel Robert Mueller if he wants to testify about whether Attorney General William Barr accurately described their phone conversation regarding Barr’s publicly released summary of the counsel’s report.

Panel Chairman Lindsey Graham, in a letter to Mueller on Friday, noted that Barr told the Judiciary panel this week that Mueller believed “media coverage of your investigation was unfair” unless the attorney general released fuller summaries of the special counsel’s findings.

Graham Asks Mueller If He Wants to Testify About Barr Call

Senator Richard Blumenthal, who questioned Barr about the phone conversation at the hearing, told CNN on Thursday that he wants to hear Mueller’s version of the conversation, including whether it mainly involved a complaint about the media.

Democrats contend that a March 27 letter from Mueller to Barr was principally a complaint about Barr’s public description of the Mueller report. In that letter, Mueller wrote that Barr’s initial summary “did not fully capture the context, nature and substance of this office’s work and conclusions.”

The two also spoke by phone about Mueller’s letter. Barr told the Judiciary Committee that his staff listened to the call and took notes, but he refused Democrats’ request to provide the notes to the Senate panel.

Graham, a South Carolina Republican and ally of President Donald Trump, has said he doesn’t agree with Democrats’ criticism that Barr misrepresented Mueller’s report.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Graham promised Blumenthal that Mueller "will have a chance to make sure that the conversation relayed by Attorney General Barr is accurate."

In his letter to Mueller on Friday, Graham wrote, "Please inform the committee if you would like to provide testimony regarding any misrepresentation by the attorney general about the substance of that phone call."

Barr had been scheduled to testify Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee, but snubbed the panel over the format set by its Democratic chairman, Jerrold Nadler. House Democrats have yet to decide their next steps in trying to secure Barr’s appearance.

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