Two Senators have introduced a bill that would require every special counsel to submit a summary of findings to Congress after President Donald Trump’s attorney general pick suggested Congress may not see the actual report.
Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley introduced the bill Monday. The bill would remove the attorney general from the decision of what would happen once Bob Mueller completes his investigation, CNN reports.
Under the current Justice Department rules, the special counsel submits his report to the attorney general who then decides on who to prosecute and what parts of the reports are made public or available to Congress.
"Our legislation would guarantee that every special counsel does a report complete with findings and evidence -- and that it be directly disclosed to Congress and the American people," Blumenthal said in a statement. "A report would be required whenever a special counsel finishes the investigation, is fired, or resigns, assuring that the results cannot be sealed or selectively censored."
The bill would require that the special counsel detail "the factual findings of the investigation, including any underlying evidence."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will ultimately decide if the bill gets a vote. McConnell last year blocked a bipartisan bill that would have protected Mueller from being fired. That bill was also backed by Grassley.
Trump AG pick warned Mueller report would not go public:
At his confirmation hearing earlier this month, Trump attorney general nominee William Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Mueller report would remain confidential.
“Under the current regulations, the special counsel report is confidential, and the report that goes public would be a report by the attorney general,” Barr told the panel.
“I don’t know, at the end of the day, what will be releasable. I don’t know what Bob Mueller is writing,” he later added.
In his written responses, Barr said that the rules are there to protect the president’s privacy, writing that the DOJ warns prosecutors to “be sensitive to the privacy and reputational interests of uncharged third parties” and “not to criticize individuals for conduct that does not warrant prosecution.”
Trump acting AG says Mueller probe almost complete:
At an unrelated news conference Monday, acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker told reporters that the Mueller probe is “close to being completed.”
"I look forward to Director Mueller delivering the final report," Whitaker said, adding that he had been “fully briefed” on the investigation.