[This post will be updated and re-timestamped through the day.]
Our situation now seems pretty clear. The administration plan is this: Release the Barr Letter and use it as a cudgel to claim bogus exoneration and threaten revenge against the President’s perceived enemies while Bill Barr tries to run down the clock until January 2021.
So where’s the report? There’s zero reason it can’t be released today. To the degree there is some classified information that must remain secret it can be released today either to the full Congress or the so-called Gang of Eight. If there’s a purported issue with Grand Jury secrecy, a judge can rule to release it. (There’s also a Watergate precedent in this case) In other words, there’s zero reason it can’t be released to Congress today and a very lightly redacted version to the public a short time later.
Now here’s the thing: just a couple weeks ago the House voted unanimously to demand the report be released with no Barr-ite funny-business. The resolution called for a full un-redacted release to Congress and a full public release “except to the extent the public disclosure of any portion thereof is expressly prohibited by law.”
This makes it easy in terms of holding people accountable. Did your Rep vote to release it? Of course they did! Because the vote was unanimous! The only exceptions were four Reps who voted “present”: Reps. Amash, Gaetz, Massie and Gosar. Call them too if you want. (Call Senators if you want. But Leader McConnell forbade a vote. So there no one is on the record.) But with these four exceptions everyone is now on the record demanding the immediate release. The problem is GOPs Reps found out about the Barr Letter plan and went silent. Indeed, Republican Reps are starting to say, the Barr Letter is plenty, let’s move on and investigate Hillary! It’s so damn exonerating that it’s critical that no one ever see it except Bill Barr.
Everyone should go on the record again or explain why they changed their position on full release. We’re already hearing a few standard dodges, like there’s no new resolution to vote on so we can’t answer (That’s what Rep. Rodney Davis’s office says.) So the question is “Does Rep. X still support the immediate release of the full Mueller Report?” Given the answers so far, it is critical to press the point of “immediate” release since many Reps are saying they stand by their vote and allowing that it might be months or years before the report is released.
This is a case where individual reps are using the herd protection of numbers. So it’s important to find out what their position is now. If you’re able to contact your Rep, please drop me a line with what you hear or if you get something in writing that’s even better. As always, use the email address at the upper right of the site.