Thursday on the Senate floor, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Attorney General William Barr delaying the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report had “the odor of political expediency” to help President Donald Trump.
Partial transcript as follows:
SCHUMER: Yesterday, for the second time this week, Leader McConnell blocked our request made by the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Dianne Feinstein, to make public the full report authored by special counsel Mueller. I want to thank Senator Feinstein for making the request and for standing up for transparency. As Senator Feinstein said, a four-page summary from a political appointee is hardly a sufficient substitute for special counsel Mueller’s two-year investigation.
There are reports this morning that the Mueller report is over 300 pages. All we have gotten is four-page summary by someone appointed by the administration, who before he took office felt the president could never, almost never, be called for obstruction of justice, one of the main parts of the Mueller investigation. For Mr. Barr to quickly issue a four-page report in his attempt to try and exonerate President Trump and now to delay the release of an over 300-page report written by Mueller, so the American people and we senators and congressmen can see what was written, has too much of the odor of political expediency to help the man who appointed him, President Trump.
The American people have a right to know the full scope of the facts behind Russia’s interference in our election. The American people have a right to make their own conclusions about actions taken by this administration. The American people deserve to have full confidence in the integrity of our system and the impartiality of the rule of law, and only the full release of the report can affirm that. What I’m saying here shouldn’t be controversial. In the House, it passed 420-0 to make the resolution—the resolution to make the full report public. Voted for by such partisan defenders of the president like Representative Jordan and Representative Meadows. And transparency, we all know, is all the more important because the attorney general has made no secret of his antipathy toward this investigation and appears intent on holding the report secret for as long as possible. I guess his hope is let the dust settle and then no one will pay attention. Well, he’s wrong about that. He’s prolonging this thing. Remember, this attorney general made clear that he was hostile to the special counsel and opposed to Mueller’s inquiry into obstruction of justice, and then he opines about it two days later without showing anybody any backing? That is so wrong.
According to press reports on his phone call yesterday with Mr. Nadler, Mr. Barr would not even commit to releasing the whole report at any time. He wouldn’t commit to a date. He wasn’t even willing to disclose how many pages are in the counsel’s report, as if that were some kind of state secret. Since that conversation, there are reports it is over 300 pages. If it is, it’s just disgraceful for Mr. Barr, who was able to read through it and summarize it in 48 hours to say now he can’t release it because he is busy culling it. The administration, the attorney general must end the stalling and the secrecy. It’s not going to be a happy opening chapter for the attorney general when history looks back upon what he has done. We should make the report public now.
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