McConnell blocks resolution calling for Mueller report to be released publicly

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHillary Clinton: Voter suppression has led to 'crisis in democracy' in the US New York Times authors blame Kavanaugh correction on editing error: 'There was zero intent to mislead' The Hill's Morning Report - What is Trump's next move on Iran? MORE (R-Ky.) on Monday blocked a resolution calling for special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal MORE's report to be released publicly. 

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (D-N.Y.) asked for unanimous consent for the nonbinding resolution, which cleared the House 420-0, to be passed by the Senate following Mueller's submission of his final report on Friday. 

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"Whether or not you're a supporter of President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE ... there is no good reason not to make the report public," Schumer said from the floor. "It's a simple request for transparency. Nothing more, nothing less." 

But McConnell objected, noting that Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrFeehery: Impeachment fever bad for Democratic governing vision Trump awards Yankees legend Mariano Rivera the Medal of Freedom Supreme Court comes to Trump's aid on immigration MORE is working with Mueller to determine what in his report can be released publicly and what cannot. 

"The special counsel and the Justice Department ought to be allowed to finish their work in a professional manner," McConnell said. "To date, the attorney general has followed through on his commitments to Congress. One of those commitments is that he intends to release as much information as possible." 

Under Senate rules, any one senator can try to pass or set up a vote on a bill, resolution or nomination. But in turn, any one senator can block their request.

Mueller turned his report over to the Justice Department on Friday, signaling the formal end of the two-year investigation. Barr sent a four-page letter to the House and Senate Judiciary committees on Sunday outlining Mueller's main findings.

Mueller, according to the letter, did not uncover evidence that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election.

The attorney general's letter also said that Mueller made no conclusion as to whether Trump obstructed justice in the investigation into Russia's election interference. But it states that Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinHouse Democrats seeking Sessions's testimony in impeachment probe McCabe's counsel presses US attorney on whether grand jury decided not to indict US attorney recommends moving forward with charges against McCabe after DOJ rejects his appeal MORE, after reviewing Mueller's findings, determined that they would not pursue an obstruction of justice charge.

He's separately told lawmakers he's working with Mueller to determine what in the report should or should not be publicly released. 

Schumer added after McConnell's objection that the resolution didn't say the report should be released "immediately" but just that it ought to be released. 

"I'm sort of befuddled by the majority leader's reasoning in this regard because it is not in the words of this resolution," he said. 

But McConnell countered that the president has had to wait two years while the investigation was ongoing and "it's not unreasonable to give the special counsel and the Justice Department just a little time to complete their review in a professional and responsible manner."

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioCalifornia poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation GOP group's ad calls on Graham to push for election security: 'Are you still trying?' MORE (R-Fla.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, quickly backed McConnell up in a tweet.

The GOP-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee passed legislation during the previous Congress that would protect Mueller from being fired, but it wasn't taken up on the Senate floor amid opposition from McConnell and other GOP senators. 

It's the second time a Republican senator has blocked Schumer's attempt to pass the House resolution. 

The New York Democrat’s first attempt came hours after the resolution cleared the House unanimously, but Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWe've lost sight of the real scandal The Hill's Morning Report - What is Trump's next move on Iran? The Memo: Times correction gives GOP lifeline in latest Kavanaugh controversy MORE (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, objected to his request

Graham blocked the resolution from passing after Schumer refused to amend it to include a provision calling on the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate alleged department misconduct in the handling of the investigation into 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump heads to California Hillary Clinton: Voter suppression has led to 'crisis in democracy' in the US MORE's email use and the Carter Page Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applications.