House Democrats — who lead six different congressional committees — sent a letter on Friday demanding the special counsel report be made public.
The special counsel team has been investigating President Donald Trump virtually throughout his time in office. Attorney General William Barr will receive the report when the investigation finally concludes.
But there are limits to what he can provide to lawmakers. Now House Democrats have issued a letter to him demanding the public receive the full report to the extent the law allows.
“Recent reports suggest that special counsel Robert Mueller (shown above right) may be nearing the end of his investigation,” the letter stated. “We write to express to you, 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.”
But also on Friday, it was reported Mueller will not deliver a report to the attorney general next week, as was previously stated by multiple outlets, a senior Department of Justice official told NBC News on Friday. ABC News reported this update as well.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have said they and the public should be provided with the report. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) even said he thinks there will be subpoenas when asked about the issue on Thursday.
Senate Judiciary Committee members introduced a bipartisan bill to ensure that the report is made public. The Special Counsel Transparency Act requires that a special counsel submit a report directly to Congress and the public within two weeks of concluding its investigation. The report must include all factual findings and underlying evidence.
The attorney general has to also content with internal rules when it comes to how much of the report can be made public. The special counsel regulations dictate that the team will submit a confidential report to the attorney general once the investigation is over. The rules don’t require those findings to be shared with Congress or the public.
Barr addressed the matter last month before becoming attorney general during his nomination hearing. He told lawmakers he will make the report as transparent as possible but warned he would follow internal rules and respect whatever agreement the former attorney general and special counsel had in place already.
The letter was signed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), House Committee on Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.), and House Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.).
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