Mueller Probe: Nancy Pelosi Vows to Reject Highly Classified Briefing

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a press conference to discuss the American Dream and Promise Act at the Tenement Museum, March 20, 2019 in New York City. Pelosi on Saturday told Democrats she intends to reject attempts by the Justice Department to reveal the findings of Mueller's probe in a highly classified setting. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.) told Democrats this afternoon that she intends to reject attempts by the Justice Department (DOJ) to limit disclosure of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe to a highly classified setting and called for full "transparency" of the report.

During a conference call with House Democrats on Saturday afternoon, Pelosi told lawmakers that she was concerned that the department could seek to release Mueller's findings only to top Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate, a group known as the Gang of Eight, three sources told Politico.

"The takeaway from this call is that the American [people] deserve the truth," she said, according to The Hill. "Transparency is the order of the day."

Pelosi reportedly added: "Right now, we are in the mode wanting to know the truth, wanting the facts so that our chairpersons and members of the committees can take a look into this going forward."

In a letter to Democratic colleagues earlier today, Pelosi reiterated that any briefings concerning special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into election meddling should be unclassified. The letter came as Democratic leaders reportedly scrambled to chart a way forward for the public release of the investigation, the completion of which was announced Friday by Attorney General William Barr.

"We are insisting that any briefings to any Committees be unclassified so that Members can speak freely about every aspect of the report and not be confined to what [the Department of Justice] chooses to release publicly," Pelosi wrote. "Even if DOJ chooses not to prosecute additional individuals, the underlying findings must be provided to Congress and the American people."

A sitting president cannot be indicted under internal Justice Department guidelines and senior DOJ officials, including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, have already asserted that they will not publicly disclose negative findings on those who aren't indicted. However, Democrats have rebuffed the indication, arguing that Congress requires the information for its own investigation into President Donald Trump and possible obstruction of justice.

On Friday, Barr sent a letter to bipartisan leaders of the House and Senate promising "as much transparency as possible" in the release of the report. He also said a briefing of the report to committee leaders could occur as early as this weekend.