By Thomas Curry
The Justice Department recently released their redacted version of the Mueller Reports that explains details over President Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election.
Special counsel Robert Mueller III’s report deals with details on the president, his associates and any potential interference with the presidential election that came from Russia. The report, released publicly and available online, shows a heavily redacted report blacking out names and confidential details of the investigation regarding the “Russian ‘Active Measures’ Social Media Campaign” and the “Russian Hacking and Dumping Operations” among other topics reported on.
The 400-page report is the result of a 22-month investigation led by Mueller in which Attorney General William P. Barr, who notified lawmakers last month of the completed report, just released.
Along with the notification from Barr were a series of statements from him in a four-page letter to Congress, including statements where he said he believed there was evident “spying” on Trump during the election, and belief that the Trump campaign did not make any effort to conspire or coordinate with Russia in any interference with results.
The investigation comes after what many consider a surprising result from the election that many suddenly suspected Russia’s involvement in.
“Both of the candidates for that election had their good moments and bad moments,” said Julia Kelley, a sophomore at Catholic University, “so I felt the election could have gone either way, but I was still very surprised when Trump won.”
The letter also mentioned how the special counsel withdrew from talking about whether or not Trump obstructed any justice throughout the investigation. Along with Rod J. Rosenstein, Barr’s deputy, examined evidence from Mueller and concluded that there was no obstruction of justice. However, the statements have been met with very critical and negative reactions by some.
Since the release of the report, Barr has told Congress that the Justice Department would not reveal any information uncovered about people involved in the report for the sake of privacy, with the exception of any public office holders including the president if they have not been accused of any crime.
Democrats have responded to Barr and his conclusions by accusing him of “soft-pedaling” Mueller’s evidence to better protect President Trump from any potential backlash he could receive from the findings of the investigation.
The House Judiciary Committee has planned to issue a number of subpoenas for all of the redacted parts of Mueller’s report. President Trump has stated that he plans to fight all subpoenas related to the report.
Even with the release of the reports, Democrats and Republicans alike continue to demand that the attorney general provides the House Intelligence Committee with any redacted intelligence information that acted as evidence in Mueller compiling the report.
Among the Republican leaders is Rep. Devin Nunes, a Republican representative from California, who wrote a letter to the Justice Department with Rep. Adam B. Schiff, a Democratic representative from California and the panel’s chairman. The letter cited laws that extend rights to the Intelligence Committee for them to review such evidence and information, and urging them to do so.
The letter was written by them requesting for, “all materials, regardless of form and classification, obtained or produced by the Special Counsel’s office in the course of the investigation”.
Barr has spent weeks redacting information from the report until its release. The information redacted specifically pertains to grand jury material, any details that could harm ongoing investigation, any compromising information of sources and methods, and any information that could be defamatory to a third party and their privacy.
The release of the reports comes about after months of anticipation from people in Washington, D.C. and across the country.
“I think it is interesting to see if Russia did make that much of an influence or would Trump have won because the people did vote for him,” Kelley stated, “As well as who allowed Russia to influence the election and how it will affect the last year and a half of Trump’s presidency.”