New Senate Bill Would Require Mueller’s Investigation is Made Public
A new proposed bill would ensure the public sees an unclassified version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump and Russia.
Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced a bipartisan bill Jan. 28 that would force all Department of Justice special counsels to make their final findings public, including the highly anticipated report from Robert Mueller’s two-year-long investigation into Trump and Russia.
Both senators are members of the Judiciary Committee, and they claimed their legislation was inspired by the testimony of attorney general nominee William Barr. Barr told the Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing that he was committed to releasing as much of Mueller’s report as was consistent with the law.
“My goal will be to provide as much transparency as I can, consistent with the law,” Barr told lawmakers. “I can assure you that, where judgments are to be made, I will make those judgments based solely on the law and I will not let personal, political or other improper interests influence my decision.”
The Bill Guarantees Full Disclosure of Special Counsel Reports
Blumenthal and Grassley want all special counsels to make the conclusions of their investigations public at completion. According to the proposed bill, investigation reports would also be made public if a special counsel resigns or is fired from his assignment.
“A Special Counsel is appointed only in very rare serious circumstances involving grave violations of public trust. The public has a right and need to know the facts of such betrayals of public trust,” Blumenthal said in a statement.
Grassley added that publicizing the investigation findings would provide insight into and oversight of how well the special counsels have performed.
The proposed legislation would require any special counsel to release his report to Congress within two weeks of completion. Mueller, or any special counsel, would be required to include “all factual findings and underlying evidence” when handing over the report to Congress. An unclassified version would then be made available to the general public.
Under current Justice Department regulations, the results of any special counsel investigation is turned over to the Attorney General in a confidential report explaining the reasons for or against pursuing any prosecutions.
The bill has yet to be voted on by the Senate.