US House unanimously demands Mueller report be made public

Geraldine Edwards
March 17, 2019

The House voted unanimously Thursday for a resolution calling for any final report in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation to be made public, a symbolic action created to pressure Attorney General William Barr into releasing as much information as possible when the probe is concluded.

A bid by the Senate's top Democrat, Chuck Schumer, to have the resolution approved by voice vote after the House's action was thwarted by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

One of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's top prosecutors will soon leave his post, a Mueller spokesman said on Thursday, confirming a move likely to add fuel to speculation that the Russian Federation investigation is nearing a conclusion. Four Republicans voted present, and eight members (five Democrats and three Republicans) didn't vote.

Additionally, it is still uncertain whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will bring the resolution to the Senate floor for a vote.

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Andrew Weissmann will leave the special counsel's office to study and teach law at New York University, NPR first reported.

Moscow has denied any election interference, and Trump has repeatedly called the investigation a "witch hunt" and said there was no collusion.

The resolution also calls for the report to be sent to Congress.

During the opening statement of his confirmation hearing, Barr said it is "very important that the public and Congress be informed of the results of the Special Counsel's work", adding that he will do his best to release what he can.

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Rep. Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced the measure, saying there is "overwhelming public interest" for the report to be widely distributed. "Was there two systems of justice, one for the Democratic candidate, one for the Republican candidate?" As it is, what happens if Barr decides not to release the report and rumors start appearing in the papers that Mueller told Barr there's probable cause to believe Trump obstructed justice?

When the investigation concludes, Mueller is required by regulation to submit a confidential report to Attorney General William Barr. Res. 24, legislation urging the public release of Special Counsel Mueller's report and underlying evidence. Those rules require him to notify the top Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate judiciary committees after Mueller completes his probe.

While Republicans condemned the resolution as a political move, ultimately 190 voted in favour.

Nadler and other House Democrats vowed to subpoena the full report if Barr only provides them with minimal details.

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"Those are also going to be things that we are going to have to litigate", Collins said.

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