Several Republican lawmakers on Sunday called on the Justice Department to make available to the American people special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report on his probe of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
Asked on CNN’s “State Of The Union” program whether the public should see the full report, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said “absolutely.”
“The report needs to be made public, it needs to be released to the Congress, and it needs to be released to the American people,” Cruz said. “This has consumed two years of the American people’s time and we need to have full transparency. We need to know the special counsel’s conclusions.”
Mueller delivered his report, which also looked into whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice by trying to stymie the investigation into the Russian interference, to Attorney General William Barr on Friday.
Barr, who Trump picked to lead the Justice Department in December after the president forced Jeff Sessions, his first attorney general, from the post, is expected to deliver key findings from Mueller’s report to lawmakers as early as Sunday.
Trump has repeatedly called the probe a “witch hunt,” despite dozens of indictments against former aides and others that stemmed from the case. Those convicted of felonies as a result of the probe include the president’s former national security adviser, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and Trump’s one-time 2016 campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.
Mueller will not recommend any further indictments arising from the probe, a Justice Department official said Friday, though federal prosecutors are continuing to investigate some aspects of Trump’s campaign and business dealings.
Cruz on Sunday wouldn’t call the investigation a “witch hunt,” but noted that he’s concerned it had become “a fishing expedition.”
“We’ll see when we see the report,” he said.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a member of the Senate intelligence committee, joined Cruz in saying Mueller’s full report should “absolutely” be released to the public.
“I want to see all of it,” Rubio said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.” “What was the underlying criminal predicate for the entire investigation? … Let’s see all of that. Let’s put all of that out there as well so we can pass judgment about how the investigation was conducted.”
Many Republican lawmakers have encouraged the Justice Department to be as transparent as possible in releasing Mueller’s findings. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement Friday that Barr should “provide as much information as possible.”
“I hope the Special Counsel’s report will help inform and improve our efforts to protect our democracy,” McConnell said in the statement. “The Attorney General has said he intends to provide as much information as possible. As I have said previously, I sincerely hope he will do so as soon as he can, and with as much openness and transparency as possible.”
House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) has said Barr’s failure to fully release the report could constitute a “cover-up.”
Though Trump has repeatedly attempted to undermine the special counsel’s credibility, he told reporters at the White House on Wednesday that he won’t mind if the public sees Mueller’s report.
“Let it come out,” the president said. “Let people see it. That’s up to the attorney general … and we’ll see what happens.”