Ian Bassin, Executive Director of Protect Democracy, released the following statement today in response to news that Special Counsel Robert Mueller sent a report on his investigation to Attorney General William Barr:
“Our Democracy only works if people have the facts to hold their leaders accountable. Attorney General William Barr must make the Special Counsel’s report, including findings and underlying documents, available to the public and Congress as soon as possible. As 420 members of the House of Representatives affirmed — with no one opposing — ‘there is an overwhelming public interest’ in doing so, ‘to ensure public confidence in both the process and the result of the investigation.’ Closing the American public off from a matter so historic and central to the integrity of our democratic process would only further erode the public’s trust in Washington.”
Additional Resources from Protect Democracy’s work:
- There is clear precedent for the evidence compiled by a Special/Independent Counsel investigation being sent in full to Congress. Watergate Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski had the evidence compiled by the Watergate grand jury sent to the House Judiciary Committee at the request of Judiciary Committee Chairman Frank Rodino. This document, known as the Watergate Road Map, was unsealed earlier this year in response to a lawsuit filed by Protect Democracy on behalf of Benjamin Wittes, Jack Goldsmith, and Stephen Bates.
- There is also clear precedent for Congress opening an investigation into the findings of Special or Independent Counsels. That precedent is detailed in Protect Democracy’s report:
- The American public need and deserve that if wrongdoing has been found, Congress ensure there is accountability. Protect Democracy has detailed the legal issues that may be implicated by the Special Counsel’s investigation in these two reports:
- The President’s lawyers have suggested that he is entitled by dint of his office to interfere in Justice Department matters, including by seeking to block release in full or in part of the Mueller Report in order to protect himself. Protect Democracy published a white paper outlining why that is incorrect and why it would be an unlawful abuse of power for the President to use his official powers to protect himself or his close associates, for instance by directing the withholding of Mueller’s report and underlying documents from Congress or the public.
- Protect Democracy has been working with the Nobody is Above the Law coalition to protect the Mueller investigation from politicized attacks and to ensure that Mueller’s findings are transparent and lead to accountability.