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Lawmakers press for a full Russia probe report from Mueller


AP Washington
Lawmakers appear increasingly nervous that Congress and the public won't see a full report when special counsel Robert Mueller is finished with his Russia probe, including what the investigation finds about President Donald Trump.
Republicans and Democrats say they support public disclosure of Mueller's findings.
But it's unclear exactly what documentation will be produced at the end of the probe into possible coordination between Trump associates and Russia, and how much of that the Justice Department will allow people to see. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said Monday that the probe is "close to being completed," the first official sign that Mueller's investigation may be wrapping up.
Democrats have pressured Trump's attorney general nominee, William Barr, on the full release of Mueller's final report. Lawmakers in both parties have maintained that there will have to be some sort of public resolution when the report is done and privately hope that a report shows conclusions that are favorable to their own side.
"This is the biggest issue facing our country, and the American people deserve to know Mueller's findings and analysis without any filter," California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary panel, said Tuesday.
The top three members of House Republican leadership Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise and Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney said on Tuesday that they would support the public release of a report produced from the Mueller investigation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would like any report to be "as fully open and transparent" as possible.
And Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he was going to call Barr to ask him about the possibility that key information could be shielded from disclosure through Justice Department regulations and White House claims of executive privilege.
The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Barr's nomination next week, and Democrats have said they aren't satisfied with his commitment that he would be as transparent as possible under Justice Department regulations. The nominee said at his confirmation hearing earlier this month that he envisions two reports, one that Mueller sends to him and another that he drafts for Congress.
Barr said he takes seriously the department regulations that say Mueller's report should be confidential. Those regulations require only that the report explains the decisions to pursue or to decline prosecutions, which could be as simple as a bullet point list or as fulsome as a report running hundreds of pages.

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First Published: Jan 30 2019 | 11:20 AM IST

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