House calls for upcoming Mueller report to be made public

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Democrats are anxious that Barr's strict defense of his own prerogative, combined with his stated respect for Justice Department rules advising against both the indictment of a sitting president or impugning an unindicted individual in an investigative report, means potential information implicating President Donald Trump in alleged wrongdoing could be buried. Those rules require him to notify the top Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate judiciary committees after Mueller completes his probe. Bipartisan Senate legislation calling for the report to be made public has stalled.

The House resolution passed Thursday calls "for the public release of any report Special Counsel Mueller provides to the Attorney General, except to the extent the public disclosure of any portion thereof is expressly prohibited by law".

Texas Rep. Will Hurd, a GOP member of the House intelligence committee, said before the vote that he believes the resolution should have been even broader to include the release of underlying evidence.

"I've said to millions of Americans on television that I support releasing the Mueller report", Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz told The Hill when asked why he voted present.

The Mueller investigation has resulted in criminal charges against more than 30 individuals and entities, including multiple aides and associates of President Trump.

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For Democrats, however, passing the resolution was an important gesture, as during his confirmation hearing, Barr refused to pledge to release the full report to the public.

They have argued that the department is obligated to turn information over to Congress, citing document productions related to the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state, and the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. "We have no reason to think Attorney General Barr would back away from those statements", Collins said.

Barr, a Trump nominee who took over the Justice Department last month, replaced Jeff Sessions, who the president ousted in November after long complaining that the former senator had recused himself in 2017 from overseeing the Russian Federation probe.

FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies during the Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing, January 31, 2012.

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.

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