The much anticipated moment is here. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has submitted his report to Attorney General William Barr. Now the fate of report becomes a profoundly political matter. In a letter to congress, Barr promises he’ll advise Congress about the report perhaps as early as the weekend. But Barr has tremendous discretion as to how much he can tell Congress or the public.
As The Washington Post usefully sums up the matter:
Attorney General William Barr has to decide how much to tell Congress or the public now that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has turned in the final report of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Under Justice Department regulations, Barr can decide that public interest demands full disclosure, or he can hew to rules that protect privacy for people who are investigated and not charged. Although Barr has the authority, President Donald Trump, his lawyers and congressional Democrats will also join the fight over transparency or privacy.
To put it another way, the fate of the Mueller report is now a political matter. What happens next depends on a political fight that will be joined by all sides, from the White House to congressional Republicans to congressional Democrats. The public itself might have to mobilize to put pressure for a full release.
As Sarah D. Wire of The Los Angeles Times notes:
The filing of Mueller’s report likely marks a starting point for waves of legal battles, congressional wrangling and political recriminations in the months ahead and through the 2020 presidential campaign.https://t.co/KQDTsyLez1
— Sarah D. Wire (@sarahdwire) March 22, 2019