The American Public Deserves to See the Full Mueller Report
This Sunday, Attorney General William Barr released a summary of the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into President Trump’s campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election. According to Barr, Mueller’s report showed there was no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia; however, on the topic of possible obstruction of justice, the "report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, [but] it also does not exonerate him."
After almost two years of the Russia investigation, countless contentious debates on the topic, and hundreds of tweets from the President, many Americans breathed a sigh of relief in the hopes that all of the chaos was finally coming to an end.
However, the full report has yet to be released, and many questions still linger. What additional details are contained in the report regarding Trump and his team? Can the investigation truly be considered finished when the President was never interviewed in person? What does the report say about the effects of Russian interference in the 2016 election, even if the Trump campaign wasn’t involved? Now that Mueller did not reach a conclusion on the obstruction of justice issue, is it appropriate to let Barr himself, an appointee of the President, decide whether his actions are criminal? How will the results of Mueller’s report affect whether or not congressional Democrats pursue impeachment of President Trump?
The only way to answer all of these questions, assure that all Americans see the full truth, and protect our democracy from future interference is to release the full Mueller report to the public.
Obviously, there are sections that will need to be made confidential or redacted because of security factors, ongoing investigations, and the sensitivity of a grand jury’s conclusions.
But, by a margin of 84 percent to 9 percent, the vast majority of Americans think that Mueller's report should be made public, and there is good reason why.
The topic of foreign interference into a national election is one of high interest and importance to many Americans, especially those that voted in the election. William Barr’s past opinions on executive power are considered controversial and questionable by many, and it is important to consider whether his conclusions on the Mueller report are accurate and unbiased. Additionally, the public release of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr’s investigation into the Clinton Administration set a precedent in transparency that should be followed again.
But, after a non-binding resolution showing a commitment to release Mueller’s report to the public unanimously passed the House with 420 votes, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked an attempt to pass the same resolution in the Senate. What is McConnell’s intent in not supporting the public release of the report? Why do Americans not deserve full transparency and a detailed explanation on such a pressing issue?
Perhaps McConnell and other Republicans are worried that the full report with details on why the President was not fully exonerated could hurt their political prospects in the next election. Perhaps, there are more details in the report that most Americans have yet to see.
In order for the controversy around Trump and the Russia investigation to truly come to an end, it is vital that the Mueller report is released publicly. The American public deserves transparency and answers on such a significant issue as soon as possible.