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House votes 420-0 to make Mueller's report public

17 March 2019
House votes 420-0 to make Mueller's report public

The House on Thursday passed a non-binding resolution that declared the final results of Robert Mueller's investigation should be made public.

Andrew Weissmann, who built the case against President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, is stepping down from the Mueller probe to teach at New York University and resume his civil rights activism, reported NPR.

The asterisk in the headline, by the way, is due to the fact that four Republicans - libertarians Justin Amash and Thomas Massie, Paul Gosar, and Trump buddy Matt Gaetz - voted "present".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office had no comment.

Justice Department regulations governing special counsels give Barr latitude in deciding how much of the report to make public.

Trump has labeled Mueller's investigation a "witch hunt", maintaining that no collusion occurred between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

Weissmann's departure is the clearest sign yet that Mueller's investigation is wrapping up.

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, said the end of Mueller's investigation is "long overdue" and that he must be transparent with the public.

Though Graham, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, said he supported transparency, he asked to amend the resolution to include the appointment of a new special counsel to investigate the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton email case and its surveillance of a former Trump adviser.

Though they voted for the resolution, many Republicans expressed skepticism about the wisdom and likely success of Democrats' quest.

When the investigation concludes, Mueller is required by regulation to submit a confidential report to Attorney General William Barr. They do not require release of the report but also do not prevent Barr from giving the entire document to Congress. "We have no reason to think Attorney General Barr would back away from those statements", Collins said. Lindsey Graham of SC interjected and asked that the resolution be modified to call for Attorney General William Barr to appoint a special counsel to investigate the Department of Justice's handling of the Clinton email investigation and other matters. Richard Blumenthal of CT that would require Mueller to submit a detailed report to lawmakers and the public at the end of the investigation. As it is, what happens if Barr decides not to release the report and rumors start appearing in the papers that Mueller told Barr there's probable cause to believe Trump obstructed justice?

Schumer added that he was "deeply disappointed" in Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"We'll see", he said.