March 30, 2019

DEMS: “Make the Entire Unredacted Mueller Report Public.”—Not So Fast!

by Hal Gershowitz

Comments Below

Well, if the Democrats were only interested in getting to the unvarnished truth, that is, justice untainted by partisan posturing and vitriol, we might agree—make the entire, unredacted report public. But, let’s get serious. Given the persistent and, we believe, politically motivated accusations of the Chairmen of the House Intelligence Committee (Adam Schiff D-CA.) and the House Judiciary Committee (Jerold Nadler D-NY), and the Trump resistance crowd that populates so much of the Democratic Party, we think handing over an unredacted copy of the Mueller Report would amount to little more than throwing red meat in the water to crazed sharks. Worse, it would almost certainly be a gross injustice to those individuals who Mueller investigated and decided not to charge.

The Democrats were counting on the Mueller Report and the spectacle of Trump colluding with the Russians to give them devastating ammunition and plenty of oxygen to see them through the 2020 election. The Mueller Report gave them neither. Nor did the Mueller Report give President Trump the clean bill of health he claims it did. It has, however, taken collusion with the Russians off the table. The sooner the Democrats accept that and stop trying to resurrect the Russian collusion issue the better. If they continue to double down on that issue, 2020 is almost certain to be a disaster for them. We recognize there may be other areas worthy of investigation. Trump’s rather bizarre relationship with Deutsche Bank before he became a candidate for President comes to mind.

As our readers know, we carry no brief for President Donald Trump. We also have lamented the Republican Party’s near total capitulation to the President at the expense of traditional Republican restraint (or at least a pretense of restraint) on runaway federal deficits and debt. We also think the Republicans’ call for Representative Schiff’s removal as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee was nothing more than gratuitous posturing for the media, accomplishing nothing more than giving Chairman Schiff the opportunity to, rather eloquently, air grievances against the President.

Now, Democrats are busy casting aspersions on the thoroughness of Mueller’s investigation. The Republicans, if they are smart, will just get out of the way and let the Democrats self-destruct.

Look, Robert Mueller is one of the most respected, accomplished, truly patriotic, straight-shooting prosecutors in America. Mueller investigated the Russian collusion issue for 675 days during which time he issued more than 2800 subpoenas and 500 search warrants, investigated 230 communications records, interrogated 500 witnesses and indicted thirty-four individuals including a gaggle of Russians and a number of former Trump acolytes and advisors (for felonies unrelated to collusion with the Russians). Some are in jail and others are on the way to jail. When Robert Mueller concludes that there was no evidence that President Trump or his campaign colluded with the Russians, well then, the collusion highway is a road best not traveled if one wants to get to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

If the Democrats insist on investigating the investigation or investigating those already investigated, we suggest their committees pay the additional legal bills they impose on the witnesses who Mueller chose not to charge.

There is no reasonable argument to be made that Robert Mueller did not do his job thoroughly or professionally. No one credible has ever described Robert Mueller as being anything other than thorough and professional. Special Counsels have been appointed, from time to time, as far back as the Grant Administration. Their sole purpose is to assure that an investigation can be conducted without interference from within the Administration being investigated. It is to minimize political interference of an investigation and it has worked pretty well over the years. Mueller aggressively pursued every lead regarding the Russian collusion charge. That’s why President Trump complained so often about the Mueller investigation, and that’s why Special Counsel Mueller ignored the President’s complaints.

Robert Mueller has done his job and from what we can see, he has done it thoroughly and well. There are many legitimate issues the Democrats can tee up for the 2020 Presidential campaign. Trump’s supposed collusion with the Russians is not one of them. In their zeal to fall on the collusion sword, they are simply proving that Mark Twain was on to something when he famously wrote, “No Man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session.”

Ms. Pelosi, Mr. McConnell, it’s time for your legislators to begin legislating and, finally, serving the interests of the people.

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9 responses to “DEMS: “Make the Entire Unredacted Mueller Report Public.”—Not So Fast!”

  1. Sheila says:

    Hal – I have to disagree with the entire tenor of your essay this week.

    First, Adam Schiff was not hyperventilating — he was angry — and justifiably so — the Republicans who blindly follow Trump down his rabbit hole without batting an eye, had just asked for Schiff’s resignation – and he (Schiff) responded by stating the unadulterated facts of the Trump campaign involvement with Russia, as they have been released to the public — none of the facts that he stated are in dispute — and notwithstanding Schiff’s acknowledgment that per Mueller, these facts may not indicate criminal liability, Schiff, as a former Asst. US Attorney, feels that these facts alone show plenty of evidence of collusion. Schiff himself, is a good lawyer with an even handed temperament– he knows know not to make false accusations – and especially in such a highly charged and hyper-partisan environment. Can you imagine how these Republicans would have responded if it had been Obama who had committed even ONE of these acts enumerated by Schiff?. We are lucky to have someone of Schiff’s capability, integrity and clear mindedness leading the House Intelligence Committee.

    Second — No one is arguing that Mueller has not done his job.
    He has. But we have not seen the Mueller report. We have seen a four page summary written by an AG who should have recused himself when he was asked to do so by ethics officials when he was hired, in light of the fact that he expressed extreme bias against the Mueller report in his 20 page (unsolicited) application for the AG position. Barr was tainted from the beginning. He was hired to intercept the Mueller report, and astonishingly, that is exactly what he did . Whatever happened to separation of powers in our country?

    In fact, while the AG has broad decision making powers in a case like this, it is not his job to draw a conclusion from the report. That is the job for Congress. The only honest move Barr can make at this point is to turn the entire report over to Congress in unredacted form, to allow Congress to draw its own conclusions.. In the Clinton Special Counsel investigation, the entire report was turned over to Congress within 48 hours. That is what needs to happen now. The American public deserves to see what is in the full Mueller report.

    However, now, amid an enormous bipartisan outcry to release the full report, Barr still insists on redacting crucial portions of it when he does release it: portions that he feels would be damaging to the Executive Branch or embarrassing to those named within. Hello!! How will we ever know the truth if the report is abridged by a man who doesn’t believe the investigation should have been done in the first place? How is this serving justice or the interests of the people? The conflict of interest here is just breathtaking.

    Again — Congress needs to see the full report and come to its own conclusions. That is how it works in a functioning democracy — that is what needs to happen now.. . What is Barr hiding — why is he so hell bent on preventing the full report from coming to light? Even the President said he wants the full report released!

    If Barr does not release the unredacted report to Congress, the House Intelligence Committee – Adam Schiff – will have no choice but to subpoena Mueller to testify on his findings..

    To the point you make at the end of your essay about the interests of the people: our interests can only be served by knowing the full truth. You are correct — whatever the Mueller report says about criminal conspiracy or obstruction of justice, we must accept the findings. But we need to know the truth.

    • We agree with Sheila that Chairman Schiff was not hyperventilating as we stated in an earlier draft of our essay. If there are “unadulterated facts” that show the Trump campaign’s interaction with Russians amounted to collusion, we haven’t seen them nor, apparently, has Special Counsel Mueller or his investigators. We agree with Sheila that Republican demands for Chairman Schiff’s removal as Chairman of the Intelligence Committee were little more than gratuitous posturing, and stated so in our essay. Attorney General Barr, however, has the authority to allow a full release of the Mueller Report, or he can respect Department rules that protect privacy for people who are investigated and not charged. Sheila’s contention that Attorney General Barr was hired to intercept the Mueller report is ill-founded. The law requires that the report be submitted to the Attorney General, hence any notion of the report having been intercepted is akin to political rhetoric detached from required procedure. Neither Sheila, nor anyone else knows exactly what may or may not be redacted from the Mueller Report. We would err on the side of redacting anything in the report that would subject citizens who were not charged with anything from becoming political pawns in this super-charged and very partisan political environment. To suggest that Chairmen Schiff and Chairman Nadler have no political agenda is, in our opinion, rather naive.

  2. Marc Slavin says:

    Schiff should keep is thoughts to himself, because now he really looks like a moron. Guilty before proven innocent!!! Last time i checked our constitution (6th amendment for those of you who are non believers) stipulates that your are innocent until proven guilty. Fascinating how our leaders don’t understand our laws or believe in them. He is wrong and can’t admit it. Good leaders know when they are wrong and admit it and apologize. When is the last time you saw a politician say sorry I was wrong. Give me a break.

  3. Tom says:

    Please listen to Schiff’s 5 minute speech in response to calls for his resignation. I call it his “Not OK” speech.

  4. In response to Tom: We thought, and so opined, that the Republican call for Rep. Schiff to relinquish his Chairmanship was nothing more than political posturing and that his “not ok” response was elequent. We do believe, however, that Rep. Schiff’s demand that an unredacted copy of the report be issued would be an injustice to those individuals who Mueller investigated but chose not to charge.

  5. susan duman says:

    It is such a luxury for me to read the blog. As if that ‘s not enough I get to read how folks have opined.
    We think therefore we are.
    Till the next time.

    Susan

  6. Perry says:

    I agree with your summary and anyone without bias would
    also. The disappointment on those hopeful of an indictment
    is clearly evident and full disclosure to those not indicted would
    be clearly without merit.

    The Mueller investigation instigated largely on a mass of
    hysterical losers who couldn’t believe that a worthless candidate
    was beaten by a person with no government background or one with as little character as his competition. Two bad
    candidates each one clearly not the best choice of either
    party.

  7. Peggy Jacobs says:

    I completely agree with you. The democrats need to move on and produce good legislation. Our country would be in much better shape, if our elected representatives concentrated on legislating for the good of their constituents instead of playing a game of “gottcha” with the President.

  8. Sheila says:

    To Perry –I have to comment as you are misinformed. You may recall that the Mueller investigation was called for by Rod Rosenstein, Acting AG, a Republican and a Trump appointee. I don’t know about you, but I would never consider him to be a “hysterical loser”.

    Rosenstein called for the Mueller investigation because he felt it was justified to do so.

    This is not a “gottcha” game of any kind. This current uproar over the Mueller Report is about knowing the truth. While most of Congress is not entitled to a full unredacted report, the Chairs of both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees are entitled by law to the full unredacted Mueller report after it passes from the AG’s office. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/04/01/redacted-mueller-report-226343

    And now, it appears that even members of the Mueller team have indicated that Barr’s report was not in good faith — that it did not include the pertinent information in the report – that the report was far more damning for the President than Barr would have us believe.

    What is Barr hiding, and why? Doesn’t this bother anyone else?
    Hopefully, we’ll all find out sooner rather than later.

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