Attorney General William Barr has assured congressional Democrats that they will get the Mueller report after it has been redacted to remove classified material, material that would expose methods and sources, and other material that might unfairly implicate individuals not central to the investigation. For the Democrats, this assurance is not good enough. They are preparing documents and subpoenas, and they are taking their case to the public. They need to see the full Mueller report, and not just that, they need to see all of the “underlying” raw evidence Mueller collected en route to filing his final report. Who knows? They might want to retrace his steps and spend the next two years re-doing the investigation!
In fact, that is exactly what they want to do. Polls show that a majority of Americans on both sides of the political spectrum want to see the Mueller report released publicly, and that’s fine. But the danger is that eventually Republicans will capitulate to the Democrats and begin exercising their own pressure on getting a full, unredacted Mueller report. They will do this because they think that their colleagues across the aisle will finally be satisfied. Make no mistake about it: They won’t be.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is not, was not, and never will be about finding the “truth.” This is solely about investigating President Trump from here to Kingdom Come so that he is weakened going into the 2020 elections. And if they can’t defeat him at the ballot box, they will then do everything they can to bring impeachment proceedings against him. In the meantime, they want to use whatever tidbits they can find in the full Mueller report to call witness after witness before Congress, to leak guilty-sounding except after guilty-sounding excerpt. Congressional Democrats will turn into the primary source for the New York Times and the Washington Post, which will publish these excerpts with all the same journalistic integrity and prudence they have demonstrated since Trump took office.
Sen. Rand Paul is on the right track. If Democrats want this report released in the name of government transparency, it is only fair that they agree to the same disclosure when it comes to the origins of this outrageous investigation. If we’re going to put the special counsel’s conclusions to the public, let us also show the American people how we came to appoint a special counsel in the first place. FBI and DOJ officials claim they didn’t rely on the Steele dossier to launch the probe? Let them prove it with extensive documentation. Let’s pull the lid off this whole thing and find out how many grubby maggots are crawling around.
If Democrats aren’t willing to go along with that plan, maybe voters will start asking themselves why.