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Democratic leaders demand full Mueller report be released to public

Vox.com logo Vox.com 3/22/2019 Dylan Scott
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer want the full report by Robert Mueller released to the public. © Zach Gibson/Getty Images House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer want the full report by Robert Mueller released to the public.

Pelosi and Schumer: “It is imperative for Mr. Barr to make the full report public.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer are demanding that the full report completed by special counsel Robert Mueller be released to the public.

“Now that Special Counsel Mueller has submitted his report to the Attorney General, it is imperative for Mr. Barr to make the full report public and provide its underlying documentation and findings to Congress,” the Democratic congressional leaders said in a joint statement late Friday afternoon after news broke that Mueller’s report had been submitted to the Justice Department.

They added that Attorney General Bill Barr, who notified Congress of the report’s completion Friday, “must not give President Trump, his lawyers or his staff any ‘sneak preview’ of Special Counsel Mueller’s findings or evidence, and the White House must not be allowed to interfere in decisions about what parts of those findings or evidence are made public.

“The watchword is transparency,” Pelosi and Schumer concluded.

Barr, in his letter to Congress, said he was “reviewing the report and anticipate that I may be in a position to advise you of the Special Counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend.”

The full report was not expressly written for public consumption, as Vox’s Alex Ward noted:

One thing to note here is that the report is meant for the attorney general’s eyes only at this point — not Congress and not the public. The only specific information we have on its contents is that it should explain Mueller’s “prosecution and declination decisions,” but the level of detail it will include is not clear.

But Democrats are still going to demand that the entire report be released publicly.

Republicans in Congress, meanwhile, are urging Barr to make as much information public as possible — though they are not making quite the same unequivocal demand that Democrats are.

As Vox’s Andrew Prokop observed, “there are potentially good reasons for concealing parts of Mueller’s report — the likely use of classified information, the need for grand jury witness secrecy, and Justice Department policy not to opine about uncharged individuals.”

Still, as the Pelosi and Schumer statement shows, Democrats clearly fear a cover-up.

For now, we wait to see how much Barr reports to Congress, possibly as soon as this weekend — and what, exactly, Mueller found.

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