Will the public have access to Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s report? Maybe not. A legal expert suggested that William Barr, the nominee for attorney general, signaled in his confirmation hearing that he wouldn’t release it.
Here’s a take from Ross Garber, CNN legal analyst and professor at Tulane Law School. He’s an impeachment expert, having represented several governors against removal efforts.
Any Mueller report that is detailed and comprehensive won’t be released. Hard to view Barr testimony any other way. Also grand jury secrecy and executive privilege issues. https://t.co/Jfzhh9XlEQ
— Ross Garber (@rossgarber) February 3, 2019
This echoed the apparent feeling among President Donald Trump‘s team. Here’s how New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman described it on Sunday.
“For all the speculation that Trump regrets appointing Barr, Barr accomplished something in his testimony that Trump folks were thrilled with: laying the groundwork for possibility the report won’t be released,” she wrote.
Trump said the attorney general will decide if Mueller’s report is made public.
“It depends,” he said in a new interview with Face the Nation. “I have no idea what it’s going to say.”
Barr suggested in answers to the Senate that the entire report may not be made public.
“As I said in my statement, I am going to make as much information available as I can, consistent with the rules and regulations that are part of the special counsel regulations,” he said in his confirmation hearing.
As Law&Crime reviewed in a January 15 article, that statement gives him to wiggle room to withhold the report.
Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and that included whether the Trump campaign colluded in efforts. The president has repeatedly framed the probe as a politically motivated “witch hunt” by Democrats. Mueller is a Republican.
“So far this thing’s been a total witch hunt,” Trump said on Face the Nation. “And it doesn’t implicate me in any way. There was no collusion. There was no obstruction. There was no nothing. Doesn’t implicate me in any way but I think it’s a disgrace.”
The probe resulted in charges, and even guilty pleas involving top Trump campaign surrogates: former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign manager Paul Manafort, and his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen. Former campaign adviser Roger Stone was charged January 25. He continues to fight prosecution.
[Image via Alex Wong/Getty Images]