Staff Editorial

Release the full Mueller report

U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s signature is seen at the end of his four page letter to U.S. congressional leaders on the conclusions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election on March 24, 2019. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)
U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s signature is seen at the end of his four page letter to U.S. congressional leaders on the conclusions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election on March 24, 2019. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

Last Friday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller handed in his findings to Attorney General William Barr, who claimed the report neither proved President Donald Trump committed a crime nor did it exonerate him. Americans should have an opportunity to decide for themselves.

For two years, Americans have been deeply divided over this investigation into Russian interference in U.S. elections and possible coordination with the Trump presidential campaign. The issues raised and, we believe, thoroughly investigated by Mueller’s team are too crucial to our republic to keep hidden behind the Trump administration’s own summary.

That Russia interfered with the 2016 election via social media campaigns, hacking and more isn’t seriously in dispute. U.S. intelligence agencies have made clear, despite some partisan blathering to the contrary, that these crimes took place and are continuing.

It was Trump himself who prompted the special investigation by firing FBI Director James Comey in what Trump openly admitted was an attempt to scuttle the FBI’s Russia investigation. The subsequent decision to launch the special investigation was a necessity of national security.

Mueller has since indicted 37 people or entities, some close to Trump and his campaign. While not involving direct coordination between Trump associates and Russians, the revelations alone refute Trump’s attempts to write off the inquiry as an ill-conceived “witch hunt.”

Americans and Iowans, who have footed millions to complete this investigation and who stand to lose the most without clear solutions to end future interference efforts, deserve an unobstructed view of all findings that do not hamper national security.

Thankfully, members of the U.S. House agree, voting overwhelmingly for release of the full Mueller report. While members of the U.S. Senate continue to haggle, Iowa’s Senators, Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, also agree on the public’s right to know.

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“There’s a law that says grand jury testimony should never be public. So, redact those things. … Let the other hundreds of pages hang out there,” said Grassley, adding that “the public’s business ought to be public.”

In a Twitter post, Ernst wrote, “I strongly believe that as much of the report that can be made public should be — barring any national security threat. Taxpayers have paid millions for this investigation; it’s only right that they see its findings.”

Transparency remains the only way for the public to understand the full scope of Russian interference, and for Congress to act.

• Comments: (319) 398-8262; editorial@thegazette.com

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