Monday 14 October 2019

House votes for Mueller report to be released in 'clear signal'

Pressure: AG William Barr was asked to publish the full report. Photo: Reuters
Pressure: AG William Barr was asked to publish the full report. Photo: Reuters

Karoun Demirjian

The House of Representitives in America voted overwhelmingly and in bipartisan fashion to urge the US Justice Department to publicly release the entirety of special counsel Robert Mueller's report into Russian interference in the 2016 election, once completed.

The move is an attempt to "send a clear signal both to the American people and the Department of Justice" that lawmakers expect to see the full account of Mr Mueller's work, according to the House Judiciary Committee's chairman, Rep Jerrold Nadler.

The final vote count was 420 in favour, with no one voting no. Four voted "present".

But the resolution by itself cannot force Attorney General William Barr to publish more of the report than he intends to - and that is why even some of the Republicans supporting it complained that the measure was a waste of time.

"Attorney General Barr said he wants to be transparent with Congress and the public consistent with the rules and the law," Rep Douglas Collins, the Judiciary Committee's ranking member, said on the House floor yesterday, adding the resolution was "simply a restatement of the regulation".

As such, it is not clear if the Republican leader of the Senate will put the resolution on the Senate floor for a vote.

For Democrats, passing the resolution was an important gesture, as during his confirmation hearing, Mr Barr refused to pledge to release the full report to the public.

Democrats are worried Mr Barr's strict defence of his own prerogative, combined with his stated respect for Justice Department rules advising against both the indictment of a sitting president or impugning an unindicted individual, means potential information implicating President Donald Trump in alleged wrongdoing could be buried. (© The Washington Post Syndication)

Irish Independent

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