On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted unanimously in favor of calling for any final report by special counsel Robert Mueller to be released to the public.
According to the Associated Press, the bill, which passed 420-0, is symbolic and non-binding, and does not compel that the report be released to the public. Rather, it was seen as a move to pressure Attorney General William Barr to allow the full report to be made public.
The bill, per Congress.gov, is “expressing the sense of Congress that the report of Special Counsel Mueller should be made available to the public and to Congress.” The text cites the January of 2017 intelligence report stating that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign directed towards the 2016 presidential election, as well as the wording of the special counsel regulations and the past indictments and convictions in connection with the Mueller probe.
Four Republican members of Congress, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan,, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, and Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky voted “present” on the resolution. Gaetz and Gosar are perceived to be staunch Trump loyalists. Seven other House members did not vote, per the Office of the Clerk.
Jerry Nadler of New York, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has said that he would subpoena the final report — and would also invite Mueller to testify — if there’s not a public release.
The House just passed a resolution 420-0 calling for the public release of the Mueller report. https://t.co/XoC5CNBFb1— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) March 14, 2019
There have been various signs that the Mueller probe is nearing its end. The latest came Monday when Andrew Weissmann, a leading investigator, signaled that he would soon step down from his job with the special counsel’s office. Per NPR, Weissmann, seen as the “architect” of the case against Paul Manafort, has accepted a teaching position at New York University.
Manafort was sentenced earlier this week to a seven-and-a-half years in prison as the result of his convictions. Shortly after the sentencing, Manafort was indicted in New York on state-level charges, which would still stand even in the event of a pardon by President Trump.
However, even if the investigative component of the Mueller probe is nearly over, the charges the office brought will be the subject of multiple criminal proceedings. Roger Stone, the former Trump advisor who was indicted earlier this year, has an official trial date of November 5 in Washington, D.C., per CNBC.
Stone was charged by Mueller’s office with seven criminal counts, including lying to Congress and witness tampering.