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- The House voted on a nonbinding resolution calling for the public release of the final report from the special counsel investigation of Russian interference during the 2016 election.
- The resolution was brought forth by House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York.
- It will ultimately be up to the attorney General as to whether the report is released to the public, and how much of it is withheld.
WASHINGTON – The House voted to demand the final report from the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election be made public upon its conclusion, setting up a potential showdown with the Justice Department.
In a concurrent resolution on Thursday, the House voted to express “that the report of Special Counsel Mueller should be made available to the public and to Congress.”
The resolution passed 420-0-4.
The resolution passed overwhelmingly, with only four Republicans voting “present.” This is despite collective shrugs from GOP members after Trump has gone on tirades against Mueller and the validity of the special counsel probe.
Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, who also chairs the powerful House Judiciary Committee, introduced the resolution. Joining Nadler were several other committee chairs, including Richard Neal of Ways & Means, Maxine Waters of Financial Services, Elijah Cummings of Oversight, Eliot Engel of Foreign Affairs, and Adam Schiff of Intelligence.
Ultimately, whether or not the report produced by the special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is made public will be at the discretion of Attorney General William Barr. In addition, Barr will be able to withhold whatever information he deems should not be made visible, even if he does release a partial version of the report to Congress or the public.
At the same time, Democrats are forging ahead with their own investigations of Trump and his associates.
During the opening statement of his confirmation hearing, Barr said it is “very important that the public and Congress be informed of the results of the Special Counsel’s work,” adding that he will do his best to release what he can.
“For that reason, my goal will be to provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law,” he said. “I can assure you that, where judgments are to be made by me, I will make those judgments based solely on the law and will let no personal, political, or other improper interests influence my decision.”
Other bills aimed at protecting Mueller and his team from Trump attempting to end the investigation have floundered in the Senate. Unlike those, the House resolution passed Thursday is non-binding.
In addition, a majority of the public want the Mueller investigation protected without interference.
For months, speculation about when Mueller will conclude the investigation has been rampant. Whether or not Mueller is close to finishing the probe is unclear, but several individuals close to Trump have been indicted and convicted for crimes uncovered during the course of the investigation.
On Thursday, former Trump 2016 campaign manager Paul Manafort was sentenced to 47 months in prison for financial crimes.