WASHINGTON — The top two Democrats in Congress Friday called on Attorney General William Barr to make Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s final report on potential collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials available to the public.
“Now that Special Counsel Mueller has submitted his report to the Attorney General, it is imperative for Mr. Barr to make the full report public and provide its underlying documentation and findings to Congress. Attorney General Barr must not give President Trump, his lawyers or his staff any ‘sneak preview’ of Special Counsel Mueller’s findings or evidence, and the White House must not be allowed to interfere in decisions about what parts of those findings or evidence are made public,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a joint statement released Friday evening.
They added: “The Special Counsel’s investigation focused on questions that go to the integrity of our democracy itself: whether foreign powers corruptly interfered in our elections, and whether unlawful means were used to hinder that investigation. The American people have a right to the truth. The watchword is transparency.”
Later in the evening at a brief news conference in New York, Schumer read the statement and added: “I think we should wait for the full report to be released before jumping to any conclusions.”
Earlier, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also urged patience.
“I am grateful we have an experienced and capable Attorney General in place to review the Special Counsel’s report. Attorney General Barr now needs the time to do that,” McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement.
He added: “The Attorney General has said he intends to provide as much information as possible. As I have said previously, I sincerely hope he will do so as soon as he can, and with as much openness and transparency as possible.”
Barr sent a letter to the chair and ranking members of the House and Senate Judiciary committees early Friday evening confirming he had received the report. The report is the product of a nearly two-year long investigation.
Barr said he might be able provide information on the report to Congress “as soon as this weekend.” Barr said he will consult with outgoing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Mueller as to what should be released.
President Donald Trump flew to Palm Beach, Fla., Friday morning to spend the weekend at his estate, Mar-a-Largo. He has stringently denied allegations of collusion and has repeatedly called Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt.”
Last week the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives unanimously passed a non-binding resolution to make the Mueller report public. Schumer tried to advance a similar measure in the Republican-controlled Senate but it failed.