Should the entire Mueller report be released to the public? | The Tylt

Should the entire Mueller report be released to the public?

Attorney General William Barr has released a four page summary of Robert Mueller's investigation into Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and potential ties with Russia. During his Congressional hearings, Barr refused to offer lawmakers assurances that he would release the report in its entirety. Mere days before Barr's letter was released, the House voted 420-0 to pass a resolution calling for the release of the full Mueller report. What do you think?

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Should the entire Mueller report be released to the public?
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Should the entire Mueller report be released to the public?
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Barr, who previously served as attorney general under George H.W. Bush, holds an extremely expansive view of presidential powers. Barr's ideological beliefs include the theory that a sitting president cannot be indicted for a crime. During his confirmation hearing, Barr would not guarantee he would release Mueller's investigation in its entirety. Barr specifically noted if Mueller declined to prosecute anyone he investigated, Barr would not release that information. 

The New York Times talked to Neil Kinkopf, a law professor at Georgia State University and a former Justice Department official, about how Barr's beliefs in presidential powers could affect the release of Mueller's report. 

On Wednesday, Mr. Kinkopf noted that the Justice Department had taken the position that sitting presidents could not be indicted while in office. If Mr. Barr strictly enforces the view that department policy forbids putting out negative information about people whom prosecutors declined to charge, he said, that would prevent Justice Department officials from releasing information about Mr. Trump’s actions.
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Many Americans still remember independent counsel Kenneth Starr's extensive, explicit report on Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky. Starr released his full report not only to Congress but to the public as well. 

Starr's report has become infamous for how revealing and salacious it was in its details. The Washington Post reports since the Starr report's release, Congress has rewritten the rules governing Justice Department investigations. Starr was required to "not only to conduct a criminal investigation but also to submit a report to Congress if he found any evidence of impeachable offenses." That statute lapsed in 1999 and the rules under which Mueller are working are far stricter. 

Section 600.8(c) of the regulations provides that the special counsel shall provide the attorney general with a “confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel.” If the special counsel finds that “other governmental action outside the criminal justice system might be appropriate,” (presumably, such as impeachment) he is empowered only to “consult with the Attorney General with respect to the appropriate component to take any necessary action.”

Under these new regulations, it is up to the attorney general to determine how much, if any, of the special counsel's report to release. 

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Politico reports many lawmakers on both sides of the political spectrum believe the report needs to be released in full in order to provide the American people with transparency. 

“The American people deserve to know what the Department of Justice has concluded. And they’re smart enough to figure it out,” Sen. John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican, told Barr during his confirmation hearing. “The American people don’t read Aristotle every day, but they can figure it out.”
“I would strongly encourage you to put this all to rest, to make a report, a final report public,” he added. “Let everybody draw their own conclusions so we can move on. If somebody did something wrong, they should be punished. But if they didn't, let's stop the innuendo and the rumors and the leaking and let's move on.”

Without the full report, some amount of distrust will continue to exist for all Americans, regardless of political affiliation. 

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In March 2019, the House voted to pass a non-binding resolution calling for the release of the entire Mueller report. Per Fox News

The resolution enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support and passed in a floor vote 420-0. Four Republican lawmakers voted present.
“Congress will not accept any effort to bury this report,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chairman of House Intelligence Committee, said on the House floor Thursday. “Anything less than full transparency would be unacceptable.”
Since the measure is a non-binding resolution, Mueller, Barr and President Trump cannot be forced to release more information to Congress and the public than the Justice Department and federal law require. Republicans were quick to point out that – despite their support for the resolution – because the resolution was non-binding, it had little sway over whether or not the report is released to the public.
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The Washington Post reports Barr has stated reservations about releasing any information gleaned from a grand jury, thus making it unlikely a full report will ever be released. 

Barr has made it clear that he thinks he is restricted from releasing the entire report, both because of rules against releasing derogatory information about people who haven’t been accused of crimes, and also because there are rules against releasing information obtained via grand jury. In other words, he’s saying this won’t be the whole, unredacted report. That doesn’t mean, however, that we’ll never see it. Democrats have said they will sue for its release, and it’s worth noting that the House voted 420 to 0 to release it. Trump has even said he’s okay with releasing it.
If I were a betting man, I’d bet against us ever seeing anything completely unredacted. The question is whether it’s the actual document, and how much is redacted.
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In an interview with the New Yorker, Jack Goldsmith, a professor at Harvard Law School and former member of the George W. Bush Justice Department, said Barr's letter seemed thoughtfully written and appropriately thorough. Goldsmith also argued that while there are many unresolved questions from the investigation, the most consequential question—whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia—has been answered. 

There are scores of big unanswered questions, but they all pale next to the answered one: Mueller concluded that Trump did not conspire or coördinate with the Russian government in its election-interference activities.
...It was a carefully written but powerful letter by a man—Barr—who obviously understands the issues intimately. The letter also gave a glimpse of the professionalism and thoroughness of Mueller’s investigation and report. Both Barr and Mueller are seasoned D.O.J. professionals, and the letter exudes attention to right process and to Justice Department hierarchy and norms.
FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should the entire Mueller report be released to the public?
A festive crown for the winner
#ReleaseTheReport
#ProtectSecrecy