One of the defining qualities of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interreference in the 2016 presidential election was the absence of internal leaks. (Mueller’s team primarily communicated their case by releasing unusually detailed indictments and charging documents.)
So when news came out that the report was finished, anticipation was exceptionally high. Last Sunday, Attorney General William Barr released a 4 page “summary” of the over 400-page report. President Donald Trump and his defenders instantly began describing it as a “total exoneration”, despite the fact that the summary and report specifically state that it “does not exonerate him.” This bit of cognitive dissonance was followed by Barr claiming this his “summary” was not a “summary.” All of this was too much for some members of the Mueller team and stories began emerging that Mueller had already provided his own written summary that was bypassed for Barr’s version which was they said gave a deceptive impression.
The public deserves to see the full report for a number of reasons and the Trump administration’s absurd handling of it so far only adds to the arguments. This was the background for the 330 rallies nationwide that Public Citizen, MoveOn, Indivisible and others in the Trump is Not Above the Law coalition organized on Thursday demanding the full release of the report.
At the flagship event in front of the White House, Public Citizen’s Lisa Gilbert was joined by a number of speakers, including U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and U.S. House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler. Nadler’s played a key role in the proceedings, including recently receiving authorization for a subpoena for the report. Nadler was received as a folk hero at the event, best captured by the spontaneous chant of “thank you” that broke out while he was on stage. You can watch a full video of the event here.
Activist pressure has already proved very consequential in this process. It’s important not to lose sight of the fact that Mueller was able to finish his investigation even though Trump threatened its very existence innumerable times. The pressure of the massive number of people that got involved in the Trump is Not Above the Law effort clearly played a significant part in the calculation.
We must keep up the pressure until we have the full report. You can help by calling Ranking Member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Doug Collins at 202 225-9893. Tell him that the public paid for the Mueller investigation and we deserve the full story about Russian interference in our election.