Amid intense speculation that Robert Mueller is near the conclusion of his investigation into alleged interference in the2016 presidential election, the House passed a resolution Thursday urging Justice Department officials to finally publicly disclose the special counsel’s highly anticipated report.
The non-binding resolution calling for the DOJ to release the Mueller report was passed unanimously by lawmakers in a 420 – 0 vote.
Introduced by House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D- NY, introduced the measure, insisting there is “overwhelming public interest” to the report to Congress and the public after years after years of investigation at the tax payer’s expense. The resolution demands all details of the report to be released “except to the extent the public disclosure of any portion thereof is expressly prohibited by law.”
Releasing Mueller’s high-profile report is urgent, Nadler warned, amid President Trump’s claims that the Russia probe is a hoax and a political witch-hunt and will reveal the other players involved in alleged collusion with Russia during the election.
“It is important that Congress stand up for the principle of full transparency. At a time when the president has publicly attacked the Russian investigation more than 1,100 times and counting. Among other things, the president has repeatedly referred to the investigation as a witch-hunt and called it a hoax, rigged, and a scam,” the New York Democrat said on the House floor. “This resolution is also needed because high ranking DOJ officials have indicated that they may not release information about individuals who are not indicted.”
Four Republicans Reps. Justin Amash, Mich., Matt Gaetz, Fla., Thomas Massie, Ky., and Paul Gosar, Ariz., voted present.
In an interview with the Hill, Gaetz explained he refused to support the measure because it failed to highlight Mueller’s team was stacked with Clinton’s suppoters.
“I’ve said to millions of Americans on television that I support releasing the Mueller report,” he said.“I take specific exception to the elements of the resolution noting praise for Mueller, without also noting the criticism of his very biased staffing decisions. It’s like he was fishing for talent in the Hillary Clinton fan club aquarium.”
Mueller has indicted several Trump associates throughout the course of the Russia probe, including Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos, but none of the charges are related to Trump’s campaign colluding with Russia to interfere with the election.
House Democrats could potentially subpoena the Justice Department for the report should department officials fail to comply.
The resolution comes on the heels of newly-sworn in Attorney General William bar facing questions about Mueller’s investigation during his confirmation hearing in February. Bar vowed to disclose as much of the report’s content as possible, but refrained from committing to fully release the report.