“The American people have a right to the truth,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, pictured in January, said Friday in a joint statement released shortly after Robert S. Mueller III sent his report to the Justice Department. (Courtesy: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi/Facebook Live)
WASHINGTON — The top two Democrats in Congress Friday called on Attorney General William Barr to make Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s final report on potential collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials available to the public.
The Mueller report does not recommend additional indictments, which means President Donald Trump or his family will likely not be indicted on Russian-collusion charges. Meanwhile, the report has yet to be made public and discussions are currently underway to release a summary of the report this weekend, according to Justice Department officials
“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. Attorney General Barr 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,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a joint statement released Friday evening.
They added: “The Special Counsel’s investigation focused on questions that go to the integrity of our democracy itself: whether foreign powers corruptly interfered in our elections, and whether unlawful means were used to hinder that investigation. The American people have a right to the truth. The watchword is transparency.”
Later in the evening at a brief news conference in New York, Schumer read the statement and added: “I think we should wait for the full report to be released before jumping to any conclusions.”
Earlier, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also urged patience.
“I am grateful we have an experienced and capable Attorney General in place to review the Special Counsel’s report. Attorney General Barr now needs the time to do that,” McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement.
He added: “The Attorney General has said he intends to provide as much information as possible. As I have said previously, I sincerely hope he will do so as soon as he can, and with as much openness and transparency as possible.”
Barr sent a letter to the chair and ranking members of the House and Senate Judiciary committees early Friday evening confirming he had received the report. The report is the product of a nearly two-year-long investigation.
Barr said he might be able to provide information on the report to Congress “as soon as this weekend.” Barr said he will consult with outgoing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Mueller as to what should be released.
President Donald Trump flew to Palm Beach, Fla., Friday morning to spend the weekend at his estate, Mar-a-Largo. He has stringently denied allegations of collusion and has repeatedly called Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt.”
Last week the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives unanimously passed a non-binding resolution to make the Mueller report public. Schumer tried to advance a similar measure in the Republican-controlled Senate but it failed.
This article first appeared first on Talk Media News.
Bryan is a freelance political journalist who has extensive experience covering Congress and Maryland state government.
His work includes coverage of the election of Donald Trump, the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and attorneys general William Barr and Jeff Sessions-as well as that of the Maryland General Assembly, Gov. Larry Hogan, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bryan has broken stories involving athletic and sexual assault scandals with the Baltimore Post-Examiner.
His original UMBC investigation gained international attention, was featured in People Magazine and he was interviewed by ABC’s “Good Morning America” and local radio stations. Bryan broke subsequent stories documenting UMBC’s omission of a sexual assault on their daily crime log and a federal investigation related to the university’s handling of an alleged sexual assault.