Top Prosecutor Getting Set to Leave Mueller Team

The resolution calls for whatever report Mueller gives the attorney general to be publicly released in full, with the exception of classified or grand jury information.

But the resolution by itself can not 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. A bid by the Senate's top Democrat, Chuck Schumer, to have the resolution approved by voice vote after the House's action was thwarted by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

The House voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to pass a measure calling for the Justice Department to release special counsel Robert Mueller's report to the public, an effort to increase pressure on the agency ahead of the expected conclusion of the probe into Russian meddling into the 2016 election.

The final vote tally was 420 members voting in favor, no members voting against, and four GOP members (Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Thomas Massie, R-Ky. and Paul Gosar, R- Ariz.) voting "present". But nobody has lifted a finger to call for an investigation into the other side of the story. Bringing a vote on the resolution also served as a way for Democrats to put Republicans on record on the issue. Those regulations require only that the report explain decisions to pursue or to decline prosecutions, which could be as simple as a bullet point list or as fulsome as a report running hundreds of pages. But he stopped short of giving a full-throated guarantee that the report would be made public. He added that "full transparency is the only way to prevent future innuendo".

"Congress will not accept any attempt by Mr Barr or the president to bury the report and the findings of the special counsel".

"My goal will be to provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law", he said in his opening statement, saying he believes "it is very important that the public and Congress be informed of the results of the special counsel's work". But both McConnell and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, South Carolina Sen. Left to his own devices, Barr might decide not to share that information with the public, reasoning that it'd be bad for the country to have the president operating under the shadow of an indictment.

I'm tempted to write "Since when do congressional Republicans defy Trump?" but today would be the wrong day to make that point.

Democrats have said they are unsatisfied with Barr's answers and want a stronger commitment to releasing the full report, along with interview transcripts and other underlying evidence.

Vanessa Coleman

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