Senators from both sides of the aisle introduced a bill that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia probe will be released publicly once the investigation ends.
According to The Hill, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chuck Grassley introduced the legislation on Monday that would require a DOJ special counsel to hand over the report to Congress once either the probe ends or in the event a special counsel is fired or resigns.
“A Special Counsel is appointed only in very rare serious circumstances involving grave violations of public trust. The public has a right and need to know the facts of such betrayals of public trust,” Blumenthal said in a statement.
Grassley added that requiring a public report would provide “oversight of and insight into activities” of a special counsel probe.
“I was encouraged to hear attorney general nominee William Barr place a high priority on transparency when asked at his confirmation hearing about Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation, and there’s no reason to think that Mueller won’t be allowed to finish his work,” Grassley added.
Mueller, or another special counsel, would have to turn over the report within two weeks and must include “all factual findings and underlying evidence,” according to a release from Blumenthal’s office.
Requiring a public report comes after Barr was asked repeatedly about if he would allow any Mueller’s findings to be publicly released.
The Hill reports that Barr told members of the Judiciary Committee that it was his “intent” to release as much about Mueller’s findings as he can consistent with the law. But he stopped short of pledging to release the report in its entirety.
“My goal will be to provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law,” Barr told lawmakers. “I can assure you that, where judgments are to be made, I will make those judgments based solely on the law and I will not let personal, political or other improper interests influence my decision.”
Under Justice Department guidelines, a special counsel sends a confidential report to the attorney general “explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached” during an investigation.