The evidence is piling up that Attorney General William Barr is helping President Donald Trump cover up potentially damaging information in the Mueller report. Look no further than his behavior before the House Appropriations Committee yesterday, where he declared that he would not send the “full, unredacted report” to the Judiciary Committee. He has consistently played the role of Cover-Up General, even seemingly in conflict with members of Mueller’s actual team.
America is currently in the dark about the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. But the one conclusion that is known and not in doubt is that Russia conducted a massive interference campaign in the 2016 US election in order to help elect Donald Trump. This finding should give both sides of the Atlantic pause.
Attorney General William Barr doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. The problem isn’t simply that he still won’t commit to releasing the full Mueller report, or the many questions left unanswered by his four-page messaging letter. The real, overlooked problem is Barr’s history of acting as a partisan operative to get Republican presidents out of sticky spots. Until he complies with Congress’s demands to release the full, unvarnished Mueller report, there is no reason to assume that this situation will be any different.
The level of secrecy surrounding the Mueller report is unacceptable. Amid bipartisan calls for the release of Mueller’s findings – including a unanimous resolution in the House – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a Senate resolution to make the report public. At the same time, the FBI will reportedly only provide the Gang of 8 a classified briefing on the counterintelligence findings of Mueller’s investigation, which were not contained in Barr’s summary letter.
Attorney General William Barr’s letter summarizing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report only underscores how urgent it is that the full report be made available to the public. The letter fails to answer any of the many outstanding questions already made public, including:
Three years ago today, the personal email account of the chairman of the Clinton campaign, John Podesta, was hacked by an elite unit in Russia’s military intelligence service, the GRU. (Full disclosure: he is the founder of CAP Action, which you probably already know). This hacking effort was part of a yearlong campaign by Russian intelligence directed against the Clinton campaign and Trump opponents, an effort that left zero question about the prevalence of interference in the 2016 election. There were two campaigns to elect Donald Trump in 2016: a campaign run out of Trump Tower (the Trump campaign) and a campaign run out of the Kremlin (the Russian campaign).
If the president truly has nothing to hide, he should push for complete transparency—and demand it now.