In-Depth: A group of six House committee chairs, including this bill’s lead sponsor Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), introduced this bill and wrote a joint letter to Attorney General William Barr requesting that Special Counsel Mueller’s report be made public to the greatest extent possible:
“After nearly two years of investigation — accompanied by two years of direct attacks on the integrity of the investigation by the President — the public is entitled to know what the Special Counsel has founded. We write to you to express, in the strongest possible terms, our expectation that the Department of Justice will release to the public the report Special Counsel Mueller submits to you — without delay and to the maximum extent permitted by law…
If the Special Counsel has reason to believe that the President has engaged in criminal or other serious misconduct, then the President must be subject to accountability either in a court or to the Congress. But because the Department has taken the position that a sitting President is immune from indictment and prosecution, Congress could be the only institution currently situated to act on evidence of the President’s misconduct. To maintain that a sitting president cannot be indicted, and then to withhold evidence of wrongdoing from Congress Congress because the President will not be charged, is to convert Department policy into the means for a cover-up.”
In his confirmation hearings, Attorney General William Barr said “my goal will be to provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law” but didn’t promise to release the report in its entirety.
This legislation has the support of five cosponsors, all of whom are Democratic committee chairs including Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Foreign Relations Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY), and Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA).
Summary by Eric Revell(Photo Credit: White House via Wikimedia / Public Domain)