Trump says Mueller investigation report should be made public

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report on his campaign’s possible collusion with Russia in the 2016 election should be made public.

But Trump again questioned the grounds for the nearly two-year-old investigation, which is also examining whether the president himself criminally obstructed the probe.

With expectations rising that Mueller will wrap up his operation within weeks after having already charged six Trump associates and over two dozen Russians, Trump said that the secret report to be submitted to the Attorney General Bill Barr should be revealed to the public.

“If you want to let them see it, let them see it,” Trump told reporters.

Trump questioned how Mueller — a man “out of the blue” who “never got a vote” can be investigating him, given his victory in the 2016 election.


“I’m saying to myself, wait a minute, I just won one of the greatest elections of all time in the history of this country … and I have somebody writing the report who never got a vote, called the Mueller report. Explain that,” Trump said.

“Because my voters don’t get it. And I don’t get it. At the same time, let it come out. Let people see it.”

‘Confidential report’ 

Even so, that could be difficult. Under the rules of his May 2017 appointment, Mueller, a former director of the FBI, is to submit to Barr “a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions.”

That report, experts say, is unlikely to be revealed in the raw — it could have confidential data on people not charged, as well as top secret information on sources.

But Barr is also compelled to submit to Congress his own summary of the investigation, a report which could be made public.

Barr, who was a critic of Mueller before Trump appointed him attorney general in February, would not have to be as detailed as Mueller is.

He could possibly leave out information that might be damaging to individuals like Trump, according to legal experts.

On the other hand, if Mueller finds criminal behaviour by Trump and believes the evidence strong enough to support an impeachment motion by Congress, he could, with Barr’s permission, write a separate report making that case.

An important question then is whether Barr would permit that, and allow that report to be released.

Trump has repeatedly branded the Mueller investigation an “illegal witch hunt” over the past two years and labelled his team of investigators politically biased.

While Mueller has revealed little about how he views Trump and his family as possible targets of the investigation, the president and the White House have stepped up their political campaign to undermine the legitimacy of the investigation.

“No collusion, no collusion,” Trump declared Wednesday.

“I had the greatest electoral victory in the history of our country, one of them,” he said.

“Tremendous success. Tens of millions of voters. Now somebody’s going to write a report, who never got a vote.”

“We will see what the report says. Let’s see if it’s fair.”

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Agency
External source

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Vodacom swindled out of more than R24m worth of iPhones

A former employee allegedly ran an intricate scam to steal 8700 phones from the cellular giant

Come what may, the UIF will pay

The fund – the main safety net for unemployed workers – will run at an almost R20-billion deficit

More top stories

We will find resources to ensure the Zondo commission completes...

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola says his department will ensure the state capture commission is afforded the financial resources to complete its work, despite the treasury’s uncertainty

Covid-19 variant may protect people against reinfection and other variants,...

The 501Y.V2 strain produces strong antibodies, but it’s not known how long immunity lasts, so being vaccinated remains essential

Tobacco industry calls Dlamini-Zuma’s bid to appeal ban a...

The minister could spend the state’s money on fighting Covid-19 and cigarette cartels, tobacco manufacturers argue

Zondo commission: Glencore sold Optimum to portray me as a...

Former Eskom chief executive paints himself as the victim of a plot at the hands of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s former business associates
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…