Politics

Lawmakers, 2020 candidates call for immediate release of Mueller report – ThinkProgress

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill, including several Democratic presidential candidates, wasted no time Friday calling for the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“Americans deserve to know the truth now that the Mueller report is complete,” Sen. Kamala Harris wrote on Twitter. “The report must be released immediately and AG Barr must publicly testify under oath about the investigation’s findings. We need total transparency here,” she wrote.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren posted a petition on Twitter and wrote that Americans “deserve the full report.”

“Robert Mueller’s finished his report. He’s delivered it to Attorney General William Barr. The American people deserve the full report. Sign our petition to make the Mueller report public—immediately,” the Massachusetts senator wrote.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker made the same point even more succinctly. “This report should be made public immediately,” he tweeted.

In a separate tweet, Booker wrote anything “short of full transparency” is unacceptable.

Mueller late Friday delivered his report to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who told U.S. lawmakers he may have a briefing ready for them as early as this weekend.

The delivery of the report brings to an end a nearly two-year-long probe not only into the role played by Russia in the election that saw Donald Trump elected president,  but whether his campaign cooperated with Moscow in that effort.

Both Republican and Democratic members of Congress reacted to the news by demanding that as much of the report be made public as possible and that it be released immediately. Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential election in particular were quick to emphasize the need for transparency.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who also has launched a bid for the White House,  said on Friday that the American people “have a right to know” the report’s findings. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, meanwhile, said the “American people deserve to know the facts.”

Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders also declared that the full Mueller report should be made public “as soon as possible. No one, including the president, is above the law.”

Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill were equally emphatic.

“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,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a joint statement.

“The Special Counsel’s investigation focused on questions that go to the integrity of our democracy itself: whether foreign powers interfered in our elections and what unlawful means were used to hinder that investigation.”

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, issued a similar call for transparency.

“The Special Counsel’s report must be provided to Congress immediately, and the Attorney General should swiftly prepare a declassified version of the report for the public. Nothing short of that will suffice,” Warner said in a statement.

Even Republicans in Congress, known for treading gingerly in all matters dealing with the president, called for transparency in releasing the report.

“The Attorney General has said he intends to provide as much information as possible,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).”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.”

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, tweeted that he trusts Mueller has conducted a “fair and through investigation,” although he stopped short of calling on Barr to make the report public.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said he believes releasing the document will finally will bring an end to contentious debate in Congress and in the public at large over Russia interference.

“Now that he’s wrapped up his investigation, Attorney General Barr must provide Congress and the American people with the findings to finally put an end to the speculation and innuendo that has loomed over this administration since its earliest days,” Grassley said.

“Attempts to keep the collusion narrative alive, especially for political reasons, will only serve to further harm our political discourse and play into the hands of our foreign adversaries.”



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