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15 March 2019, 02:41 | Glen Norman
Doug Mills The New York Times News Service
The House voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to pass a measure calling for the Justice Department to release special counsel Robert Mueller'sreport to the public, an effort to increase pressure on the agency ahead of the expected conclusion of the probe into Russian meddling into the 2016 election.
Jerry Nadler, D-New York, told lawmakers that the report should be made available to the public and Congress, emphasizing that "transparency is fundamental to the special counsel's process".
The Democratic-backed resolution, which passed 420-0, comes as Mueller appears to be nearing an end to his investigation. The symbolic action created to pressure the attorney general, William Barr, to release as much information as possible when the inquiry ends. Four lawmakers voted "present".
Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa introduced legislation with Democratic Sen.
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"Attorney General Barr said he wants to be transparent with Congress and the public consistent with the rules and the law", Rep. Douglas Collins, R-Ga., the Judiciary Committee's ranking member, said on the House floor Thursday, adding that the resolution was "simply a restatement of the regulation".
It also calls for the full report to be released to Congress.
Schumer accused Graham of blocking the resolution as a result of his request, saying, "Let the American people know that the Republican majority in the Senate, at least for now, is blocking a resolution that the Mueller report should be made public".
Weissmann has been a pivotal member of Mueller's team, which has brought charges against 34 people and three companies during a 22-month-old investigation into whether Trump's 2016 campaign conspired with Russian Federation and whether the Republican president unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe. Will Hurd, R-Texas, a member of the Intelligence Committee and former CIA officer.
"[Barr] understands the questions and turmoil this has caused", Collins said.
Unless Weissmann is leaving for unspecified personal reasons, his departure signals Mueller has likely completed all of the inquiry's major investigative steps, although there could still be additional indictments, said Barbara McQuade, a former senior federal prosecutor in MI.
But Democrats have said they are unsatisfied with Barr's answers and want a stronger commitment to releasing the full report, along with interview transcripts and other underlying evidence.
Multiple Democrat leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have vowed to sue the the Trump administration should the DOJ refuse to turn over the full report to Congress.
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