For months and months, the public and Congress have been waiting with baited breath for the report on the Special Counsel investigation being conducted by Robert S. Mueller III regarding the question of the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia during the 2016 election to be released. It seems that the day for said release has finally arrived.
According to the Los Angeles Times, a redacted version of this report will be released on Thursday, April 18, 2019. Despite the fact that the original version of the report, filed in its 400-page entirety by the Special Counsel on March 22, will not be released to the public, the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives has vowed to subpoena the entire thing.
Attorney General William Barr has publicly said that there is nothing in the report that concludes that the Trump campaign colluded or coordinated with the Russian government to swing the 2016 election in Trump’s favor; however, there could still be politically deadly information contained therein.
In a letter written to Congress, Barr claimed that there was no conclusive evidence of criminality, but he chose his words carefully, saying, “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Attorney General Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein say of the potential obstruction of justice issue, regarding Trump’s attempts to stop or interfere with the investigation that the evidence therein “was not sufficient to determine, that the president committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”
The filing, officially called “Report on the Investigation Into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election,” will have much redacted information, though no one knows what exactly will be redacted as of this reporting. However, some of the redacting is designed to shield “peripheral third parties.”
Attorney General Barr assures everyone that this does not include the President or other public officials, saying, “I’m talking about people in private life, not public officeholders.”
The LA Times says of the activities of the investigators prior to the investigation’s conclusion:
Barr’s letter suggested the report could contain reams of previously unknown material. He wrote that Mueller’s prosecutors issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records and interviewed about 500 witnesses.
That is a lot of people, a lot of evidence, and a lot of potentially damaging information. To that end it is no surprise that Republican office holders are objecting to the idea of the entire, un-redacted report being turned over to the Democrats who now control the House of Representatives. Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA) says of the Democrats’ requests:
“This is reckless, it’s irresponsible, and it’s disingenuous.”
Collins is number two on the Judiciary Committee, second to Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) who is the chair, and who has warned:
“We will go to court. We will do whatever is necessary.”
Trump has called the idea of these subpoenas “treason,” but also says he is not worried:
“This is dirty politics. This is actually treason.”
“I’m not concerned about anything because, frankly, there was no collusion and there was no obstruction. And we never did anything wrong.”
It remains to be seen what comes out in this report. There is no doubt, however, that once the Democrats get their hands on the full version, things will get a lot more interesting.
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Shannon Barber is a progressive queer feminist and budding political scientist. She is passionate about issues of social justice, including but not limited to racial equality, criminal justice reform, pro-Black politics, and LGBTQ equality. She hopes to change the world, one mind at a time.