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Published: Thursday, March 14, 2019 @ 4:56 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 14, 2019 @ 4:56 PM
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted unanimously Thursday on a resolution urging that special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation report be made public
Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, said the “report must be made public so we can continue to have faith in our electoral system.”
Columbus-area Rep. Troy Balderson, R–Zanesville, called the Mueller resolution “a no-brainer: make the Mueller report public so Americans can get answers and move forward. Those who have broken the law should be held accountable, and those who are innocent may clear their names.”
Mueller, the former director of the FBI, has to file a report to U.S. Attorney General William Barr on the results of his investigation into whether there was any collusion during the 2016 campaign between Russian intelligence officials and members of Trump’s campaign to damage the candidacy of Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Rep. Bill Johnson, R–Marietta, said “the bottom line is that all of us paid for this investigation through our tax dollars. Just as many of you are, I will be interested in reading the report’s conclusions. And, I have confidence that Attorney General Barr will do the right thing and release what he can.”
The nonbinding resolution calls for the public release of any report Mueller provides to Barr, with an exception for classified material. The resolution also calls for the full report to be released to Congress.
“This resolution is critical because of the many questions and criticisms of the investigation raised by the president and his administration,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler. “It is important that Congress stand up for the principle of full transparency.”
It’s unclear exactly what documentation will be produced at the end of the probe into possible coordination between associates of President Donald Trump and Russia, and how much of that the Justice Department will allow people to see. Mueller is required to submit a report to Barr, and then Barr can decide how much of that is released publicly.
Barr said at his confirmation hearing in January that he takes seriously the department regulations that say Mueller’s report should be confidential. Those regulations require only that the report explain the 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.
“I don’t know what, at the end of the day, what will be releasable. I don’t know what Bob Mueller is writing,” Barr said at the hearing.