House calls for upcoming Mueller report to be made public

House calls for upcoming Mueller report to be made public

In a bill, which likely will come to the House floor for a vote later today, House Democrats call for the public release of any report issued by the special counsel's office.

The resolution is not binding but it is a way to make clear to Attorney General William Barr that there are strong expectations of him.

The resolution was passed unanimously in a 420-0 vote Thursday.

"I've said to millions of Americans on television that I support releasing the Mueller report", Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz told The Hill when asked why he voted present.

Barr is required to notify the top Republicans and Democrats of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees at the conclusion of Mueller's investigation but can determine how much of the report is released publicly.

Justice Department regulations governing the appointment of special counsels give Barr latitude in deciding how much of the report to made public. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said the Justice Department had set itself a precedent of providing Congress with sensitive materials and making law enforcement and intelligence officials available for interviews, when the GOP-led House was investigating federal probes of Trump and Clinton.

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"To maintain that a sitting president can not be indicted no matter how much evidence there is because he's a sitting president, and then to withhold evidence of wrongdoing from Congress because the president can not be charged, is to convert the DOJ policy into a the means for a cover up", Nadler said on the House floor just before the vote.

Multiple Democrat leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have vowed to sue the the Trump administration should the DOJ refuse to turn over the full report to Congress.

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.

For Democrats, however, passing the resolution was an important gesture, as during his confirmation hearing, Barr refused to pledge to release the full report to the public. "We have no reason to think Attorney General Barr would back away from those statements", Collins said.

FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies during the Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing, January 31, 2012.

The Mueller investigation so far has resulted in indictments against 34 individuals and three companies, seven guilty pleas and one conviction following a jury trial.

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