House calls for upcoming Mueller report to be made public

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 15, 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.

Attorney General William Barr delivers remarks to the National Association of Attorneys General in the State Dining Room ahead of President Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 4, 2019. Trump has denied collusion and obstruction.

Andrew Weissmann, an attorney on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team, is reportedly leaving the Justice Department.

Justice Department regulations governing the appointment of special counsels give Barr latitude in deciding how much of the report to made public. Those rules require him to notify the top Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate judiciary committees after Mueller completes his probe.

The rules do not require release of the report, but also do not explicitly prevent Barr from giving the entire document to Congress.

The Senate is not obligated to vote on this or any similar resolution, and under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is all but certain to not.

The Democratic-backed resolution, which passed 420-0, comes as Mueller is nearing an end to his investigation.

Despite the House's vote on Thursday, the decision of how much of Mueller's report becomes public still rests in Barr's hands. He has promised members of Congress to send his own "report" on Mueller's investigation to lawmakers, but it's unclear what that will contain. The four were Representatives Justin Amash, Matt Gaetz, Thomas Massie and Paul Gosar.

Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and leaders of several House committees, have vowed to sue the Trump administration for Mueller's report and evidence if the Justice Department refuses to turn it over to Congress.

If a full report isn't released, House Democrats have made it clear they will do whatever they can to get hold of it. Nadler has said he would subpoena the final report and invite - or even subpoena - Mueller to talk about it.

"To maintain that a sitting president can not be indicted no matter how much evidence there is because he's a sitting president, and then to withhold evidence of wrongdoing from Congress because the president can not be charged, is to convert the DOJ policy into a the means for a cover up", Nadler said on the House floor just before the vote.

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