The Justice Department plans to provide key members of Congress with a more complete version of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report than what will be made public on Thursday, prosecutors told a federal judge on Wednesday.
Federal prosecutors described the plan to provide nonpublic material to Congress — where Democratic lawmakers have been pushing to receive an unredacted version of the report — in a court filing made Wednesday in the case against Trump confidant Roger Stone.
Stone has been charged with lying to Congress about his efforts to contact WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign. The case was brought by Mueller’s team in January but has been transferred to the D.C. U.S. attorney’s office with the formal closure of Mueller’s investigation last month.
Stone, who has pleaded not guilty, is scheduled to go to trial in November.
Last week, his attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the case. Separately, they asked the judge to release to them a full copy of Mueller’s report, arguing that it could contain exculpatory material showing Mueller had unfairly targeted Stone and chose not to charge others who also appeared to have lied to Congress.
U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson has imposed a strict gag order in the case, forbidding Stone and the government from making public comments that could affect whether Stone receives a fair trial.
In their filing, prosecutors assured the judge that her order is being considered as redactions were made to a version of the Mueller report set to be publicly released Thursday. In particular, they wrote that information related to the charges in Stone’s case will be redacted from the report.
They also alerted the judge, however, that the Justice Department intends to “make available for review” a version of the report without “certain redactions” to “a limited number of Members of Congress and their staff.”
Among the information that will be left unredacted, prosecutors said, will be material about the Stone investigation.
They described steps they will take to keep the more complete version of the report from becoming public, saying it will be made available to some lawmakers and their staff in a secure location and they will not be allowed to remove it or publicize it.
If lawmakers ask for copies of the fuller report and it seems likely that the material related to Stone could be made available to the media or accessed by the public, the Justice Department plans to seek guidance from the judge before responding to the request, prosecutors said.
That process would allow a federal judge to have some input on whether at least some portion of the report becomes public.
Attorney General William P. Barr has said he intends to be as transparent as possible in releasing the report, given legal and policy guidelines.
But he has said information falling into four categories of material will be redacted: evidence subject to grand jury secrecy laws; information about sensitive intelligence matters; material that could intrude on the privacy of peripheral people who were not charged with crimes; and information about ongoing investigations.
Democrats fear a broad interpretation of those categories could result in important information being withheld from public view. They have been demanding that Barr release the entire report — at least on a confidential basis to members of Congress.
The House Judiciary Committee has authorized the panel’s chairman to issue a subpoena for the report. Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) has said he will review the version of the report released by Barr on Thursday, but could issue a subpoena soon after.
Spencer S. Hsu contributed to this report.