Barr Should Set Americans At Ease, Release The Full Report
Attorney General William Barr should have no doubt in his mind about what to do with special counsel Robert Mueller’s report: Release it.
Just two considerations need to be taken care of before Barr makes the report available to Congress and thus, to the American people.
First is national security. It may be that the report contains some material that would be helpful to our nation’s many enemies. For example, one would not want to tip the Kremlin off that U.S. intelligence agencies know the identities of Russian operatives or even the tactics they use.
Second, the Mueller investigation lasted nearly two years and involved many different investigations. It may be that some names mentioned in the document are of people guilty of no wrongdoing who do not deserve to have their reputations sullied merely because they were connected in some way to the probe. Those names should be redacted.
Everything else should be released.
Mueller was commissioned to investigate whether President Donald Trump and/or his associates cooperated with the Russian government to influence the 2016 presidential election. Mueller concluded there was no such activity — no “collusion” in the parlance of some in the media and politics.
But on the question of whether the president obstructed justice, Mueller found evidence on both sides of the question — and did not reach a conclusion. By itself, that is highly suggestive that there was no obstruction. Had there been clear evidence, Mueller would have stated that it pointed to obstruction.
Nevertheless, this is as much a political investigation as a criminal probe. Democrats who have been out to get the president since he was elected continue to insist he is guilty of wrongdoing. He says he is not.
Presenting the full report, with judicious redactions as outlined above, will be the only way to settle the minds of many Americans. Barr should do just that.