On Monday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked a resolution calling for the public release special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his 22-month investigation. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York asked for unanimous consent on the resolution, a version of which passed the House of Representatives earlier, 420-0, but that didn’t sway Sen. McConnell according to a report in The Hill.
The Majority Leader objected to the resolution, contending that Attorney General William Barr is currently going through the entire report with Mueller in order to determine what can be released publicly and what information should remain secret.
“The special counsel and the Justice Department ought to be allowed to finish their work in a professional manner,” McConnell said.
He also added that since the attorney general has up to this point kept his commitments to Congress, McConnell has faith that he will continue to do so by releasing “as much information as possible.”
His Democrat counterpart found that explanation wanting, however.
“Whether or not you’re a supporter of President Trump or not, or what you feel, there is no good reason not to make the report public,” said Sen. Schumer from the Senate floor.
“It’s a simple request for transparency. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Under the rules of the Senate, any single senator can try to pass a bill, resolution or nomination. However, all it takes to block such a move is a single senator to vote against it, as occurred on Monday with McConnell’s “no” vote.
This is the second such vote against Schumer’s attempts to pass the resolution calling for the report to be made public. The first effort came just hours after the House passed their version of the resolution, but that one was struck down by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of Tennessee. In that case, Seen. Graham objected to the resolution after Sen. Schumer refused to amend the resolution to include calling for the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate allegations of departmental mishandling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server and the issuing of a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to investigate Carter Page.
The Senate posturing over releasing the full report is just one among a number of still-unfolding dramas occurring in both the House and Senate as well as among White House functionaries, as various political players attempt to spin the report’s findings in their favor before anyone even knows what it contains.
For his part, President Donald Trump through his communications director has called for news networks to report that the report’s conclusions are a “complete vindication” of the president, according to a report in Politico. He also called for networks not to allow certain critics of the president, including some Democratic lawmakers, onto their programs.