Some Democrats are outraged that Attorney General William Barr followed the law and released a version of the report from special counsel Robert Mueller that included redactions deemed necessary by the intelligence community.
Mueller’s long-awaited report included many redactions that aimed to protect the privacy of third parties and to prevent the release of sensitive information from compromising ongoing investigations.
These redactions are pursuant to Federal Rule 6(e), which says that information related to the grand jury investigation must be kept a secret unless the House passes a binding resolution demanding the full, unredacted report, as House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) noted in 1998 during the investigation into former President Bill Clinton.
Because Congress has not requested the full report, Barr followed the law and redacted large portions of the report that could compromise privacy or ongoing investigations.
That didn’t stop many Democrats from making their frustrations known over the redactions that would have damaged ongoing efforts by the intelligence community.
Take a look:
Actual pages of the Mueller report as redacted by Attorney General Barr: pic.twitter.com/scXvesrdjE
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) April 18, 2019
Lightly redacted… pic.twitter.com/x2o50ZM3HN
— Congressman Tim Ryan (@RepTimRyan) April 18, 2019
— Rep. Diana DeGette (@RepDianaDeGette) April 18, 2019
We have a Constitutional duty to serve as a check on the Executive Branch and this is the heavily-redacted #MuellerReport Attorney General Barr just delivered to Congress. Unbelievable. pic.twitter.com/Pr7t47pdDQ
— Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) April 18, 2019
Many Democrats, including Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), claimed that Barr was attempting to cover up impugning evidence against President Donald Trump.
Check it out:
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) April 18, 2019
"The AG has created an environment that has caused a significant part of the public to be concerned about whether or not there is full transparency" about Mueller's findings, US District Court Judge Reggie Walton said. #BarrCoverUphttps://t.co/6qtyue3SOM
— Democratic Coalition (@TheDemCoalition) April 18, 2019
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) — who recently announced his 2020 presidential bid — claimed that Barr should resign from office. Swalwell claimed Barr was acting as “Trump’s defense attorney” and “must resign.”
Russia attacked us. The #MuellerReport details a multiplicity of contacts b/w Russia & @realDonaldTrump’s team and that Trump & his team “materially impaired” the investigation. Yet, OUR Attorney General acts as Trump’s defense attorney. He can’t represent both. Barr must resign.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) April 18, 2019
Most Democrats are calling for an unredacted version of the report to be released to Congress, but it isn’t yet clear if that will happen. Barr is expected to speak before Congress in the coming weeks about his handling of the report and the findings.
Republicans, meanwhile, see the report as a complete victory for Trump. As IJR previously reported, many Republicans commended Trump for staying out of the investigation and refusing to use executive privilege to further redact information at his discretion — a tool that former President Barack Obama used liberally.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.