McConnell Is Trying To Give Barr Time To “Scrub” Mueller Report
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) once again blocked the non-binding resolution calling for the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. The report would give the American people more insight into Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Trump Campaign’s contacts with Russians, and potential obstruction of justice on the part of the President.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) made the effort to pass the non-binding resolution, with unanimous consent, which originally passed in the House in a 420-0 vote. Feinstein delivered a statement on the Senate floor:
“The fact is that a four-page summary cannot possibly illuminate what this thorough of an investigation uncovered. I find it so disappointing that so many are rushing to judgement without being able to see the full report or all of the underlying facts.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (R-NY) previously introduced the non-binding resolution calling for the Mueller report to be publicly released on Monday. McConnell blocked the effort claiming he wanted to give Attorney General William Barr more time to decide what parts of the report to make public. Barr reportedly intends to “scrub” grand jury material from the report, but there are questions as to whether he will be an honest broker.
As we reported earlier this week, in spite of the Trump administration’s claim that Mueller’s report is a “total exoneration” of President Trump, Barr’s summary claims that Mueller’s report states the following when it comes to obstruction of justice: “‘…while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.’”
Barr claims Mueller outlined evidence of obstruction of justice but did not make a prosecutorial decision. Barr, with the help of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, then took it upon himself to clear President Trump of obstruction of justice. There has been speculation that Mueller’s intention was to leave that determination to Congress, not Barr. Barr’s involvement in the decision has raised skepticism given the fact he wrote a 19-page memo lambasting Mueller’s case for obstruction of justice before he was appointed.
Democrats and legal analysts have also been interested in seeing the counterintelligence components of the report. Six House Committee Chairs have sent a letter to Barr demanding the full report be released by April 2. A Politico/Morning Consult poll found 82% of Americans want the report to be made public, 47% think President Trump tried to obstruct the investigation, and 52% still believe Russia has compromising information on the president.
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