The conclusion of the Mueller investigation into whether Trump colluded with Russia in the election is expected imminently. And, Mueller’s report will be governed by rules written in the wake of the Starr Report. We explain.
Just the FAQs, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – As news broke Friday that Attorney General William Barr had sent a letter to Congress saying special counsel Robert Mueller had submitted his report, reaction started pouring in from senators and representatives.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement saying it’s “imperative for Mr. Barr to make the full report public.” They called upon Barr to not give President Donald Trump, his lawyers or his staff a “sneak preview” of the special counsel’s findings or evidence.
Sen. Cory Booker tweeted that the report should be made public “immediately.”
Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, tweeted a copy of the letter from Barr. Collins said he expected the Justice Department “to release the special counsel’s report to this committee & public w/o delay & to maximum extent permitted by law.”
Across the aisle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called for time for Barr to review the report. McConnell said in his statement he hopes Barr will provide as much information as possible and “with as much openness and transparency as possible.”
But regardless of what the special counsel’s report says, key House committees led by Democrats vow to continue their own related investigations.
And Congressional committees are not limited as Mueller’s team was by its mandate to look at Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Democrats plan to use the oversight powers of Congress to look into President Donald Trump’s finances and other aspects of his presidency.
The House Judiciary Committee recently launched an investigation into whether Trump sought to obstruct justice or misuse his powers, requesting documents from 81 “agencies, entities, and individuals” connected to the administration and Trump’s private businesses.
The House Intelligence Committee announced it will look into Russian interference in the 2016 election as well as Trump’s foreign financial interests.
Meanwhile, the House Oversight and Reform Committee has launched several investigations, including one into Trump’s communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The committee held a hearing in February where Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, slammed his former boss and cast him as a “con man.”
Republicans accused Democrats of pursuing the investigations because they doubt Mueller’s report will show evidence of collusion or of Trump committing a crime.
The House overwhelmingly supported a resolution in March pressing for lawmakers to get a copy of the fullMuellerreport. The Senate, however, blocked the measure.
“It is important that Congress stand up for the principle of full transparency at a time when the president has publicly attacked the Russian investigation more than 1,100 times and counting,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said on the House floor March 14.
Friday, Nadler tweeted, “We look forward to getting the full Mueller report and related materials. Transparency and the public interest demand nothing less. The need for public faith in the rule of law must be the priority.”
Rep. Eric Swallwell, D-Calif., member of both the House Intelligence Committee and House Judiciary Committee, told MSNBC Friday evening, “The American people will see every word, every comma, every period of this report. The president is outnumbered now in a way that he was not before. We have the subpoena power … so it’s just a matter of time.”
“I don’t think I and most of my colleagues will accept the report unless its veracity is testified to by Bob Mueller. There will be a lot of questions as to whether there was pressure to wrap this up … We need to hear from Bob Mueller. I think the country would benefit from hearing from Bob Mueller, not just taking the Attorney General at his word because there’s been too many issues with this president …
“This is a test for our country because the rule of law has had a wrecking ball taken to it and what we do now with this report will very much determine whether the rule of law still stands.”
Read the complete letter:
Contributing: Deborah Barfield Berry, Bart Jansen, Christal Hayes, Sean Rossman
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