House Unanimously Demands Mueller Report Be Made Public
Mar 17 2019
"I am deeply concerned that Attorney-General Barr may attempt to withhold Mueller's full report from the public and the underlying evidence from Congress", said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff ahead of the vote.
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.
U.S. President Donald Trump repeatedly denied any collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation in the run up to the 2016 presidential elections, and has called the probe a "witch hunt".
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has been less eager to push Barr on the release of the report, despite some in his caucus who have said they want to ensure transparency.
Jerry Nadler, D-New York, told lawmakers that the report should be made available to the public and Congress, emphasizing that "transparency is fundamental to the special counsel's process".
The four "present" votes came from two libertarians who routinely oppose such resolutions, Reps. Politico also reported his departure, citing one source familiar with the move.
"This resolution is critical because of the many questions and criticisms of the investigation raised by the president and his administration", said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler.
Once the investigation concludes, Mueller will submit a written report to Barr, who will then need to brief Congress.
Barr said at his confirmation hearing in January that he takes seriously the department regulations that say Mueller's report should be confidential.
The resolution, however, is non-binding, meaning that Mueller and Attorney General William Barr are not required to publicly disclose the report.
Though they voted for the resolution, many Republicans expressed skepticism about the wisdom and likely success of Democrats' quest. However, it does not force Barr to do so. The rules require him to notify the top Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate judiciary committees after Mueller completes his probe.
If Barr both denies lawmakers' request to publicize the report and resists any subsequent subpoenas, that could set up a drawn-out court fight between Congress and the executive branch over the document's disclosure.
In February, six House Democratic committee chairs, led by Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler of NY, made a similar request in a letter to Barr.