House votes 420-0 to demand public release of Mueller report

House votes 420-0 to demand public release of Mueller report

Andrew Weissmann, a prominent member of special counsel Robert Mueller's team, will soon be stepping down to study and teach at New York University, NPR is reporting.

"Notwithstanding the overwhelming public interest in the Special Counsel's report and findings, I am deeply concerned that Attorney General Barr may attempt to withhold Mueller's full report from the public and the underlying evidence from Congress, and could instead seek to provide only a "cliff's notes" version of the report to Congress".

Six committee chairs in the Democratic-controlled House sent Barr a letter on February 22, urging him to make Mueller's report public "to the maximum extent permitted by law". The probe concerns Russia's alleged role in the United States election in 2016. On the 420-0 vote, four Republicans voted present.

Kyle Freeny (C) and Andrew Weissmann (R), members of special counsel Robert Mueller's team of prosecutors investigating potential ties between Russian Federation and U.S. Presidential Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, leave court in Washington D.C., U.S., September 29, 2017.

Multiple Democrat leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have vowed to sue the the Trump administration should the DOJ refuse to turn over the full report to Congress.

It also calls for the full report to be released to Congress.

More news: Paul Manafort Indicted in New York After Federal Sentencing

Representative Doug Collins, the Judiciary Committee's top Republican, backed the resolution, describing it as a restatement of the regulations that give Barr the option of releasing the full report.

Weissmann has been a pivotal member of Mueller's team, which has brought charges against 34 people and three companies during a 22-month-old investigation into whether Trump's 2016 campaign conspired with Russian Federation and whether the Republican president unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe. He defended Barr, saying he "understands the questions, the turmoil this has caused".

If Barr both denies lawmakers' request to publicize the report and resists any subsequent subpoenas, that could set up a drawn-out court fight between Congress and the executive branch over the document's disclosure. Lindsey Graham of SC interjected and asked that the resolution be modified to call for Attorney General William Barr to appoint a special counsel to investigate the Department of Justice's handling of the Clinton email investigation and other matters.

Barr said at his January confirmation hearing that he takes seriously the department regulations that say Mueller's report should be confidential.

Schumer added that he was "deeply disappointed" in Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"I see this as the surest sign yet of a wrap-up", McQuade said.