WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW RIGHT NOW?
Attorney General William Barr on Thursday defended his handling of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Russia investigation, saying the confidential document contains sensitive grand jury material that prevented it from being immediately released to the public.
Barr is confronting concerns that his four-page letter summarizing Mueller's conclusions unduly sanitized the full report in Trump's favor, including on the key question of whether the president obstructed justice. House Democrats on Wednesday approved subpoenas for Mueller's entire report and any exhibits and other underlying evidence that the Justice Department might withhold.
Also Thursday, the White House pushed back against a Democratic request for the IRS to provide six years of Trump's personal tax returns and the returns for some of his businesses. The returns were officially requested Wednesday by Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal, who heads the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the White House "is not interested in playing a bunch of political games like the Democrats in Congress clearly want to spend their time doing."
Asked later Thursday for his response to Neal's demand, Trump didn't provide a direct answer.
"They'll speak to my lawyers; they'll speak to the attorney general," Trump said at the White House, referring to Barr, whom he appointed.
DID THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN COLLUDE WITH RUSSIA?
According to the special counsel, the answer is no.
In his letter dated March 24, Barr quotes from Mueller's report saying the investigation "did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."
The letter does not detail what Mueller learned about a broad range of Trump associates who had Russia-related contacts during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition period. It also doesn't answer why several of those people lied to federal investigators or Congress during the Russia probe.
IS TRUMP OUT OF THE WOODS?
Trump also plays a central role in a separate case in New York, where prosecutors have implicated him in a crime. They say Trump directed his personal lawyer Michael Cohen to make illegal hush-money payments to two women as a way to quash potential sex scandals during the campaign. New York prosecutors also are looking into Trump's inaugural fund.
Congressional investigations also are swirling around the president. Democrats have launched a sweeping probe of Trump, an aggressive investigation that threatens to shadow the president through the 2020 election season.
For more in-depth information, follow AP coverage at https://apnews.com/TrumpInvestigations