House Votes 420-0 to Demand Public Release of Mueller Report
Sometimes symbolism is important. This is one of those times.
NYT (“House Votes Overwhelmingly to Demand Public Release of Mueller Report“):
House Republicans joined Democrats on Thursday to overwhelmingly demand the Department of Justice release to Congress and the public the full findings of the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and the possible involvement of President Trump’s campaign.
Though the resolution is nonbinding and cannot force the Justice Department to take a particular action, Democrats who put it on the House floor are trying to build public pressure on Attorney General William P. Barr in advance of the investigation’s anticipated conclusion to share what Robert S. Mueller III produces. Far from standing in the way, Republicans joined Democrats en masse. On the 420-0 vote, four Republicans voted present.
“This report must see the light of day, must be available to the American public for a catharsis that will allow us to start with the facts, understand what happened and begin to rebuild the faith of the American people,” said Representative Jim Himes, Democrat of Connecticut and a senior member of the Intelligence Committee, which has undertaken its own Russia investigation.
Republicans called the resolution a waste of time, but they were unwilling to stand in its way.
“With wide bipartisan support the House has agreed: the American people deserve to know the truth about what, if anything, special counsel Mueller has uncovered, and now we should finally see this investigation come to a close,” said Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the second-ranking Republican, in a statement.
The four “present” votes were two libertarians who routinely oppose such resolutions, Representatives Justin Amash of Michigan and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and two ardent Trump loyalists, Representatives Matt Gaetz of Florida and Paul Gosar of Arizona.
Practically speaking, this has no impact. As Republicans who objected to the vote correctly noted, this simply requires to Justice Department to do what it’s already required to do and has no binding impact. Regardless, putting the Republican minority on the record in near-unanimous support sends an important message to the White House.