Let the public view Mueller’s full report

(Terre Haute) Tribune-Star

Attorney General William Barr declared last week in a memo that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation did “not establish that the President was involved” in any crime related to the Russian government’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Two days earlier, Mueller had submitted his report to Barr after a two-year probe that resulted in almost three dozen indictments, including those of several of President Donald Trump’s closest advisers, including his longtime personal attorney, campaign manager and former national security adviser.

Republicans, including 8th District Congressman Larry Bucshon, R-Newburgh, pounced quickly in celebrating Barr’s memo.

In a post to his Twitter account, Indiana’s 8th District representative proclaimed that Mueller had “made it clear, without a doubt, no collusion with Russians by President Trump or by any other Americans.” Bucshon went on to chide Democrats for playing politics with the investigation, “grasping at straws,” and behaving as if their minds were already made up before the investigation was complete. We understand Bucshon’s and his fellow Republicans’ relief that Trump and his associates had apparently not engaged in conduct that Mueller could determine rose to the level of criminal conspiracy. That, indeed, is a relief to all Americans. There are, however, plenty of questions remaining about Trump’s activities as related to the Russian interference.

What’s more, Mueller’s investigation specifically did not exonerate Trump of attempting to obstruct the investigation.

It’s also important to note that Mueller’s report, which is said to consist of more than 400 pages, has not been released to Congress or the public. The report’s contents may provide ample reasons for Bucshon and fellow Republicans to dance in the streets. But they could also preclude them from popping any more celebratory corks.

Given the uncertainty of what’s in the report’s details, Bucshon’s statements seem both unnecessarily partisan and wildly premature.

To his credit, Bucshon has called for the U.S. Department of Justice to release as much of the Mueller report as possible. We agree.

The report, or at least some version of it, is expected to be released later this month. The sooner the better. There is an intense public interest in the matter. The Russians undeniably attacked our electoral system with a widespread misinformation and propaganda campaign in the 2016 election. The special counsel’s report will go much further in explaining what the investigation found and allow the public to draw its own conclusions.

Until the report is released, we urge our congressman to take a more cautious and measured approach.

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