Dems outraged over Mueller report before its expected release today; Trump facing more battles ahead

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Developing now, Thursday, April 18, 2019

OUTRAGE BREWS OVER MUELLER REPORT BREWS BEFORE ITS RELEASE: Amid high anticipation, the Justice Department on Thursday is expected to release a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, and Democrats have already cried foul ... Attorney General William Barr is set to hold a 9:30 a.m. ET news conference, accompanied by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw the Mueller investigation after the special counsel's appointment in May 2017. Neither Mueller nor other members of his team will attend, according to special counsel spokesman Peter Carr.

Congressional Democrats have criticized the timing of the news conference, accusing Barr of trying to spin the report and conducting a media campaign on behalf of Trump before Congress and the public see it. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said the panel was expected to receive a copy of the report between 11 a.m. and noon. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., tweeted that Barr "has thrown out his credibility & the DOJ’s independence with his single-minded effort to protect @realDonaldTrump above all else. The American people deserve the truth, not a sanitized version of the Mueller Report approved by the Trump Admin."

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TRUMP SEEKS VINDICATION, BUT FIGHT OVER MUELLER REPORT ONLY BEGINNING: Although Attorney General Barr has already revealed that Mueller's report absolved the Trump team of illegally colluding with Russia, Democrats have signaled that the release will be just the beginning of a no-holds-barred showdown with the Trump administration over the extent of report redactions, as well as whether the president obstructed justice during the Russia investigation ... Trump’s legal team is preparing to issue a comprehensive rebuttal report on Thursday, to challenge any allegations of obstruction against the president, Fox News has learned. The lawyers originally laid out their rebuttal in response to written questions asked by Mueller’s team of the president last year, according to a source close to Trump's legal team.

60 PEOPLE CHARGED IN OPIOID STING: Federal authorities said Wednesday they have charged 60 people, including a doctor accused of trading drugs for sex and another of prescribing to his Facebook friends, for their roles in illegally prescribing and distributing millions of pills containing opioids and other drugs ... U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman of Cincinnati described the action, with 31 doctors facing charges, as the biggest known takedown yet of drug prescribers. Robert Duncan, U.S. attorney for eastern Kentucky, called the doctors involved "white-coated drug dealers."

Authorities said the 60 includes 53 medical professionals tied to some 350,000 prescriptions and 32 million pills. The operation was conducted by the federal Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force, launched last year by the Trump administration. - The Associated Press

NORTH KOREA TEST-FIRES TACTICAL WEAPON: North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on Wednesday watched as his country test-fired a new tactical guided weapon, state-run media reported ... The Academy of Defense Science launched the weapon, The Associated Press reported, citing the Korean Central News Agency. The rogue regime’s leader reportedly spoke about the implication of the test-fire, saying that “the development of the weapon system serves as an event of very weighty significance in increasing the combat power of the People's Army."

DEMS AVOIDING REP. OMAR? - It appears some Democrats may already perceive controversial freshman lawmaker Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., as potentially toxic to their careers ... At least two Democrats have reimbursed the campaign contributions made by Omar, who has been at the center of numerous controversies since she was sworn in last January. North Carolina’s 9th congressional district candidate Dan McCready refunded $2,000 to Omar in March after she donated to his campaign last November ahead of the 2018 midterms, WSOC reported Wednesday. A spokesman for McCready told the news station he'd refunded Omar’s contribution because “he believes there is no place for divisiveness in politics, and McCready did not feel it is appropriate to accept the donation.” A winner still has not been declared in the 9th congressional district race, which became ensnared in accusations of absentee ballot fraud after Election Day. Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., also rejected Omar’s $2,000 donation that was made March 27.

THE SOUNDBITE

A QUESTION OF FAIRNESS AND BALANCE - "The concern, that I think, is a fair concern is, is the report going to be written in a fair and balanced way? It's a concern. Now why the concern? Because of Bob Mueller, who I hold in very high regard, his choice of staff. So many questions have been raised about that staff and their leanings and so forth. And they've had the opportunity, without any kind of cross-examination, any kind of check, any kind of balance, to write whatever they want to write. And that, I think, legitimately raises concern of fairness and balance."– Ken Starr, former independent counsel, on "America's Newsroom," giving his take on the upcoming release of the Mueller report. (Click the image above to watch the full video.)

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STAY TUNED

Stay with Fox News on all platforms for coverage of the release of the Mueller report!

On Fox News:

Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Special coverage of the Mueller report's release with guests that include: Byron York, Washington Examiner chief political correspondent; Andrew McCarthy, Fox News contributor and contributing editor at the National Review; Dan Bongino, Fox News contributor and former Secret Service agent; Dana Loesch, host of "The Dana Show," Corey Lewandowski, former Trump campaign manager, and David Bossie, former deputy Trump campaign manager.

Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4 p.m. ET: Special guests include: Herman Cain, President Trump’s prospective nominee for the Federal Reserve Board.

Hannity, 9 p.m. ET: fallout from the Mueller report's release with the following guests: Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow; U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee; Mark Levin, host of "Life, Liberty & Levin"; Sarah Sanders, White House press secretary

On Fox Business:

Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: An exclusive interview with Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase; Karl Rove, former White House deputy chief of staff under President George W. Bush; Andrew McCarthy, Fox News contributor and contributing editor at the National Review.

Varney & Co., 9 a.m. ET: Ken Starr, former independent counsel; attorney Victoria Toensing; "Special Report" host Bret Baier.

Making Money with Charles Payne, 2 p.m. ET: Bruce Linton, CEO and chairman at Canopy Rivers Inc.

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcast: "Bill Weld, Republican Opponent to Trump" - Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld explains why  he is running against President Trump as a Republican primary challenger in 2020. Plus, as lawmakers try to address the nationwide opioid crisis, some of their answers are having unintended impact on patients and doctors. Fox News' Elizabeth Llorente breaks down the crisis and what one senator is doing to address it. Plus, commentary by Deroy Murdock, contributing editor with the National Review and Fox News contributor.

Want the Fox News Rundown sent straight to your mobile device? Subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher.

The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: Coverage of the Mueller report's release with the following guests: Tom Dupree, former deputy assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush; Chris Stirewalt, Fox News digital politics editor; Shannon Bream, "Fox News @ Night" host; former U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

The Todd Starnes Show, Noon, ET: Todd dives into the Mueller report with former Navy SEAL Jonathan Gilliam.

Benson & Harf, 6 p.m. ET: Dana Perino, host of "The Daily Briefing," and Andrew McCarthy, Fox News contributor and contributing editor at the National Review, will discuss the Mueller report.

#TheFlashback
1938: Superman, AKA "The Man of Steel," makes his debut as the first issue of Action Comics (bearing a cover date of June) goes on sale for 10 cents a copy.
1934: The first laundromat (called a "washateria") opens in Fort Worth, Texas..
1775: Paul Revere begins his famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington, Massachusetts, warning colonists that British Regular troops are approaching.

Fox News First is compiled by Fox News' Bryan Robinson. Thank you for joining us! Have a good day! We'll see you in your inbox first thing Friday morning.