With Attorney General Bill Barr facing heated questions before Congress today, we know only slightly more about the Mueller report than when it was released weeks ago.
Barr’s performance today was marred by partisanship, faux-filibustering, and semantic squirming that was was a true disservice to the American people. The Russian scheme to interfere in our democracy mustn’t be allowed to live in secrecy any longer, lest we wish to give The Kremlin a not-so-subtle invite to try again.
As it turns out, however, at least two lawmakers have seen a version of the Mueller report with fewer reductions than the public version.
Barr offered access to a less-redacted version of the report to just 12 members of Congress — six Democrats and six Republicans. But as of Tuesday afternoon, only Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, opted to view it. A third, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he planned to review the report later Tuesday.
Collins and Graham told POLITICO that what’s underneath the redactions has no bearing on Mueller’s conclusions: that there wasn’t enough evidence to charge any American with conspiring with Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election and that Justice Department guidelines prevented Mueller from reaching a legal conclusion on whether President Donald Trump obstructed Justice.
“It didn’t change anything,” Collins said. “Some of the redactions could actually be implied from other parts of the report that were not redacted.”
What information lies in these reductions could be vital to the national understanding of the Russian threat, and patriots the nation over are clamoring for the information’s release.
AG Barr may or may not be testifying again tomorrow, after a squabble over questioning personnel was not adjusted to his liking. Perhaps this break from testimony could offer these congressional leaders some time to look it over.
It’s only the authenticity of our democracy that’s at stake.
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