April 18, 2019

Congress Has Every Right to See the Full, Unredacted Mueller Report

Washington, DC – Today, Attorney General William Barr delivered a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections to Congress and to the American public as part of an orchestrated spin effort clearly designed to protect this president rather than protect the American people. Below is the statement from American Constitution Society President Caroline Fredrickson:

Let’s not be fooled by Attorney General Barr’s claims that he has only removed material that should not be revealed to Congress. While justifying the deletions due to rules protecting the secrecy of grand jury deliberations, Barr has excised information that Congress has a right to see. In fact, that Congress must see. Congress’s role is to exercise oversight over the executive branch, a role enshrined in the Constitution.  It can only do so – and indeed has done so – with complete access to evidence compiled in an investigation.

Especially given the known facts about Russian interference in our election, Congress must get to the bottom of what happened, both to protect the integrity of our elections and to make sure it does not happen again.  The American public also has the right to know the results of this inquiry so we can hold elected and appointed officials accountable if they helped, directly or indirectly, this attack on our electoral system.

The evidence of conspiracy is strong based only on what we already know from reading the president’s Twitter feed. But even if the evidence Mueller and his team gathered does not reach the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard for conviction, as an American, I want to know: Did the president put the country first? Or his own political interests? Do we have the system we need to prevent Russia and other foreign powers from influencing our elections?

By hiding information from Congress, Attorney General Bill Barr is showing himself to be more of a PR front man for the president than he is a public servant. I cannot say it better than New York Times writer William Safire, who called Barr the “cover-up general” after Barr buried evidence that could have harmed President George H.W. Bush during the Iran-Contra scandal.

The fact that the president’s personal lawyer got to see the entire report a week in advance and our representatives in Congress did not tells us that this Attorney General is not a fair arbiter of justice on behalf of Americans. Like those wealthy parents who cheated the college admissions system, the president’s lawyer received the test in advance.

Time and time again, this attorney general seems more concerned with advancing the president’s political goals than he is about serving the needs of Americans.

CONTACT: William Lutz, media@acslaw.org