President Trump Supports Public Release of Mueller Report

President Trump Supports Public Release of Mueller Report

Kerry Wise
March 24, 2019

US President Donald Trump told reporters on Wednesday that he does not object to making Special Counsel Robert Mueller's final report on the Russian Federation investigation public.

His comment is probably worth taking with a large pinch of salt.

The House voted unanimously last week for a resolution calling for any report in Mueller's investigation to be made public.

The President, with his talent for shifting the terms of a debate, weighed in on the fate of Mueller's yet-to-be-filed final report before heading to OH on Wednesday. Wednesday night, Trump tweeted out a quote from Fox Business Network's "Kennedy": "The reason we have the Special Counsel investigation is that James Comey (a dirty cop) leaked his memos to a friend, who leaked them to the press, on goal".

It is often hard to know whether Trump is working to a long-term strategic plan, testing out new political ground or just riffing in the moment to get past bad news and onto another subject. Mueller, he said, "can't be doing much of a money laundering investigation" if he hasn't subpoenaed Deutsche Bank, which has loaned millions of dollars to Trump.

In the meantime, the White House's special counsel Emmet Flood and his team charged with responding to Mueller's inquiries have prepared possible responses from the White House to whatever becomes public.

Meanwhile, indications pointed to the possibility that Mueller may yet have some work to do.

The Twenty-Fifth Amendment codified the presidential line of succession while also creating a provision that allows for the removal of the president by the Vice President and the "a majority of either officers" in the Cabinet "or of such other body of Congress" should the president be "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office". "I'm not rooting for anything at all, except that the special counsel be permitted to finish his work, charge whatever cases warrant charging and report on his work". "Play along with the game!"

Democrats could seize on any disclosure to the president to argue that the report really isn't confidential and should be immediately provided to them as well.

"I know that he's conflicted", Trump said.

"I don't mind", Trump said when asked whether the public should see the final report.

In anticipation to the report release, Trump intensified his long-running campaign to question the legitimacy of Mueller, who is widely respected, and to undermine confidence in the report itself.

Robert Mueller finishes and submits report on Donald Trump-Russia investigation
Mr Trump criticised how Rod Rosenstein , the deputy attorney general, had appointed Mr Mueller to carry out the probe in May 2017. President Trump has not yet been personally briefed on the report, according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

In a recent interview on CBS's "Face the Nation", while noting that he was now an outsider with no privileged information, Bharara said, "I think people should view with some skepticism the notion that gets breathlessly reported every week that the Mueller investigation is coming to an end". It's mandated under the regulation that spells out the grounds for his appointment and duties as special counsel.

Assessing the battle to come is also hard because no one knows what form Mueller's conclusions will take.

Time and again, the president has said "no collusion, no collusion" as several former associates, advisers and administration officials have been indicted, convicted or plead guilty to charges stemming from the Russian Federation probe.

The final report would go directly to Barr, including recommendations from Mueller as to how to proceed with further investigative or legal action.

What will the attorney general do?

There's another reason why Trump's backing for a public release of a Mueller report should not be taken at face value.

According to Comey, the best thing Mueller's report can do is prove that the USA justice system remains fair and impartial while upholding the rule of law. Clinton, however, lost the presidency due to Trump's winning margin in the Electoral College, which came after he narrowly won less populous Midwestern states, including MI and Wisconsin.

FILE - Former FBI Director James Comey, with his attorney, David Kelley, right, speaks to reporters after a day of testimony before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 7, 2018. And you know who I want to see it?

"I do not want us to be distracted from the truth", he added. White House counsel Pat Cipollone sent a letter Thursday to the Democratic chairmen of the three committees rebuffing all those requests. Mueller was not a candidate for president in that race.

"A deputy, that's appointed, appoints another man to write a report". That's a tremendous victory.

TRUMP: "I got 306 electoral votes against 223. I don't think it's any evidence of anything that might happen in the future".