Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

US House unanimously demands Mueller report be made public

US House unanimously demands Mueller report be made public

"I hope this will be a bipartisan vote to tell the American people, you have the right to and ought to know the results of this report", House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said on Thursday.

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a non-binding resolution on Thursday calling for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's upcoming report on his probe into Russia's role in the 2016 election to be released to Congress and the public.

But the resolution by itself can not force attorney general William Barr to publish more of the report than he intends to - and that is why even some of the Republicans supporting it complained that the measure was a waste of time.

Most Republicans sided with Democrats on the resolution, though they called it a waste of time.

He added that it was critical to pass the resolution because of the "many questions and criticisms of the investigation" raised by the Trump administration.

No date has been mentioned for the Mueller report's release.

The vote came as expectations rise that Mueller is near to bringing to a close a almost two-year-old investigation that has focused on whether Trump's 2016 campaign colluded with the Russians. The rules require him to notify the top Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate judiciary committees after Mueller completes his probe.

"Transparency is fundamental to the special counsel's process, especially when dealing with matters of national security involving the president", said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, whose committee will oversee any impeachment motion. Will Hurd, R-Texas, on the House floor before the vote.

The President has repeatedly railed against the investigation, denouncing it as a witch hunt and insisting there was no collusion between associates of his presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

The final vote tally was 420 members voting in favor, no members voting against, and four members (Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Thomas Massie, R-Ky. and Paul Gosar, R- Ariz.) voting "present". He hasn't committed to publicizing the report, but said during his confirmation hearing that he wants "to provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law". "We have no reason to think Attorney General Barr would back away from those statements", Collins said. A CNN poll released last month found that support for a public release stands at 80% among Republicans and those who approve of the way the President is handling his job, and at 92% among Democrats and those who disapprove of the way Trump is handling his job.

The Mueller investigation so far has resulted in criminal charges against 34 individuals and three companies, seven guilty pleas and one conviction following a jury trial.

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