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Congress Can Make Mueller Report Public, So Why Don’t They?

Democrats are grandstanding about making the Mueller report public. They seem to want us to suspend disbelief as if Congress doesn’t make laws.

There are regulations and laws establishing exactly what Attorney General William Barr can and can’t do with the Mueller report, which contains information protected under various umbrellas.

The regulations say Mueller should give Barr a “confidential report” explaining why he charged some people and didn’t prosecute others. Barr is then required to notify Congress that he received that report from Mueller. But there isn’t anything in the regulations that directs Barr to issue a final, comprehensive report of his own — or to release Mueller’s confidential report.

CNN, 3/22/19

Not long ago, the House voted unanimously that the report should be made public. But the very rules that prevent it from being public can be changed or modified, or exceptions given–by Congress. Not by the president or by the DOJ.

…Of course, Congress can subpoena the Mueller report. But it’s unclear at this point whether Barr would authorize DOJ to comply. Barr answers to Trump, who might not want it public (despite his nonchalance thus far). And there are serious legal impediments to disclosure — including the confidentiality of grand jury materials under Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, laws protecting national security and intelligence information, privacy laws and, among other things, executive privilege. Executive privilege does not confer blanket immunity on all-things-presidential, but can be a formidable barrier to public disclosure.

The Hill, 3/24/19

If Congress wants the Mueller report made public, they can pass a law exempting it from Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, deeming it in the public’s interest. In fact, Congress can pass any law they please, though they can’t force the administration to release the report.

But Trump wants the report public too.

And there’s the problem, ladies and gentlemen. Democrats don’t want it public if Trump wants it public (because, obviously, that would help Trump). But Democrats don’t want to say that publicly, so they carp about making the report public without actually doing anything about it.

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