House Democrats file legislation to ensure Mueller report released

House Democrats file legislation to ensure Mueller report released

House Democrats are pushing ahead with a legislative effort to ensure special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s final report regarding possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow will be publicly released.

Reps. Lloyd DoggettLloyd Alton DoggettLIVE COVERAGE: Tax hikes take center stage in Ways and Means markup American workers need us to get this pandemic under control around the world Biden attempts to turn page on Afghanistan with domestic refocus MORE (D-Texas) and David CicillineDavid CicillineDemocrats seek to cool simmering tensions Hillicon Valley —Apple is not a monopoly, judge rules Judge rules Apple is not 'illegal monopolist' in high-profile Epic case MORE (D-R.I.) filed the Special Counsel Transparency Act on Tuesday. It is a companion to an identical bill introduced in the Senate by Sens. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyCongress facing shutdown, debt crisis with no plan B Biden confronts sinking poll numbers Congress needs to push for more accountability in gymnasts' tragic sex abuse MORE (R-Iowa) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

The bill would require the Department of Justice (DOJ) to release any unclassified portions of Mueller’s final conclusions. The DOJ would also have to provide a written explanation to Congress should it determine any piece of unclassified information is not appropriate for the public.

“Ensuring Trump cannot build a wall around the Special Counsel's work is essential to preserving our democracy,” Doggett said in a statement.

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“For the rule of law to stand, the Administration cannot be allowed to sit on the report. This legislation safeguards over a year of taxpayer-funded law enforcement work and assures the right of Americans to see justice served. I hope the House can give strong approval to this reasonable legislation that already enjoys bipartisan support in the Senate.”

The legislation would also require Mueller’s team to provide the House and Senate Judiciary committees with explanations regarding the decision to pursue or decline prosecution and any discussions it had with the DOJ about the scope of the probe. It also mandates that a report to Congress include an annex of classified materials.

Attorney General William Barr will decide whether the Mueller report is made public. He did not commit to making the full report public during his confirmation hearings. However, he has vowed that the White House would not be able to “correct” anything in the report and that he would try to release as much as he can. 

“Sadly, Attorney General Bill Barr made it clear during his confirmation hearing that he plans to abide only by Department of Justice polices that are convenient for he and President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE,” said Cicilline, a member of the House Judiciary Committee. “He should not be the person who decides what Congress and the public get to see.”

Democratic calls for the DOJ to publish Mueller’s report have reached a fever pitch in recent days amid speculation that Mueller could conclude his probe in the coming weeks. 

Six Democratic House committee chairmen sent a letter to Barr last week demanding the probe’s final conclusions be released “without delay and to the maximum extent permitted by law.” Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffJan. 6 panel subpoenas four ex-Trump aides Bannon, Meadows Schiff: Criminal contempt charges possible for noncooperation in Jan. 6 probe The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Biden jumps into frenzied Dem spending talks MORE (D-Calif.), a signatory of the letter and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, also threatened Sunday to subpoena the report if its findings are not publicized.