AG William Barr speaks about Mueller report ahead of its release -- live blog

Attorney General William Barr held a press conference Thursday ahead of the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report into Russian effort to influence the 2016 presidential election and its ties to the Trump campaign.

Barr was joined by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The redacted report will be released to Congress at 11 a.m. ET and then become available soon afterward on the Department of Justice's website.

The decision to hold a press conference ahead of the report's release sparked controversy among Democrats who claimed it was a move to shape the narrative surrounding the report. Some Democrats demanded Barr cancel the press conference.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement calling on the attorney general to testify.

“Attorney General Barr’s regrettably partisan handling of the Mueller report, including his slanted March 24th summary letter, his irresponsible testimony before Congress last week, and his indefensible plan to spin the report in a press conference later this morning — hours before he allows the public or Congress to see it — have resulted in a crisis of confidence in his independence and impartiality," they said. "We believe the only way to begin restoring public trust in the handling of the Special Counsel’s investigation is for Special Counsel Mueller himself to provide public testimony in the House and Senate as soon as possible.”

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