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Privacy group sues DOJ for public release of Mueller report

The Hill logo The Hill 3/23/2019 Tal Axelrod

Robert Mueller wearing a suit and tie: Robert Mueller submitted his report to the Justice Department on Friday. © The Hill Robert Mueller submitted his report to the Justice Department on Friday. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a lawsuit on Friday to obtain special counsel Robert Mueller's final report on his investigation into possible obstruction of justice by President Trump and possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The privacy group filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) against the Justice Department to acquire the report's non-exempt findings, stating that the information in Mueller's report was "of overwhelming public interest."

"The public has a right to know the full scope of Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election and whether the President of the United States played any role in such interference," EPIC said in its lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

"The public also has a right to know whether the President unlawfully obstructed any investigation into Russian election interference or related matters," the group added. "The requested records are vital to the public's understanding of these issues and to the integrity of the political system of the United States."

EPIC's public records request seeks documents including Mueller's final report to Attorney General William Barr, as well as materials related to the report.

EPIC has pursued multiple FOIA lawsuits against the Justice Department related to Russian election interference, including one lawsuit over the FBI's response to Russian cyberattacks and election cybersecurity.

Mueller submitted his final report to Barr late Friday, setting Washington abuzz over what his report's findings might reveal.

Democrats have clamored for the conclusions to be made available to the public, while Trump's conservative allies have sought to get out ahead of any potentially damaging revelations that may stem from the Mueller report.

Barr appeared noncommittal about releasing the full report publicly during his January confirmation hearing, saying only that he would release as much as is consistent with the law.

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