Release The Unredacted Mueller Report

Kristina Vakhman, News Editor

The debate about releasing the unredacted results of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s investigation is ridiculous.

The House of Representatives voted 420-0 last month in favor of releasing the entire report. This came after United States Attorney General William Barr put forth only a four-page summary of “key findings” and his own interpretations. He said that he would release the redacted report around mid-April, Politico reported.

Until last Tuesday, President Donald Trump said he had no issue with the American people seeing the investigation’s results, toting the fact that it had determined he was innocent. Then he flipped, fuming on Twitter that nothing can “satisfy” congressional Democrats. Why the sudden shift?

There shouldn’t even be a discussion that includes the option of not releasing the long-awaited Mueller report unredacted. There should be no need for Democrats to have to obtain subpoenas, which a House panel authorized last Wednesday, the Washington Post reported. And the people should not have to watch the government play tug-of-war with information that the public has the right to know.

There is no doubt that the Russians interfered with our 2016 presidential election. Multiple U.S. intelligence agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department, have repeatedly confirmed this, with the director of national intelligence saying in 2018 that Russia “conducted an unprecedented influence campaign,” according to the New York Times.

The bigger question that the Mueller report thus tried to answer was whether members of the Trump campaign had conspired with the Russians – whether the infamous “collusion” narrative running 24/7 on the news had actually ever occurred. According to Barr’s summary, no evidence of collusion was found and Trump did not ever commit obstruction of justice.

Barr added in his summary Mueller’s conclusion that “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” contrary to the president’s claim that the report was a “complete and total exoneration.”

Even if everything Barr said in his summary is true, how can the American people trust a four-page interpretation of a 400-page document? There is so much evidence in the Mueller report, including information on 34 indictments, some of which are of Trump’s associates, that the public needs to see in order to get the full story.

One of Trump’s main arguments against releasing the report is drawing comparisons to independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s investigation on former President Bill Clinton, saying Democrats did not want anyone to see it unredacted and hence implying bias. Flying in the face of that argument, however, is that Starr’s report was eventually released to the general public.

But in addition to the fact that the Mueller and Starr reports should not be equated, bias is not a legitimate point either. Again, the House voted 420-0 to release the report unredacted, those votes include Republican representatives. Moreover, though Senate Republicans have, for the most part, blocked any resolution in favor of releasing the report, one right-wing senator has called for the opposite. There is bipartisan support for the report to be released.

Those who support the Mueller report’s full and unredacted release want to see the report for themselves and come to their own conclusions about the president’s behavior. The American people do not want to take someone else’s word for it, nor should they have to.

Trump and Barr plead not guilty. Then let us see the report.

After all, what do you have to hide, Mr. President?