Kentucky Senator Rand Paul on Thursday blocked a Senate resolution that would call for the public release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report detailing the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, The Hill reports. Paul, in opposing the bill, argued that Congress should also be calling for the release of communications between certain officials present during the Obama administration, including Barack Obama himself, former FBI Director James Comey, and former CIA Director John Brennan.
“We need to know was there malfeasance, was there misuse of power, did President Obama’s administration get involved in an election to infiltrate the Trump campaign to trap them?” Paul said in blocking the resolution. “What we need to discover and we do not yet know: Was President Obama involved?”
Besides the release of the Obama-era communications, Paul also called on Brennan and former National Intelligence Director James Clapper to testify on the topic. In addition, he asked for copies of any communication from Obama regarding the Russia investigation, as well as any records pertaining to decisions not to indict then-candidate Hillary Clinton.
The resolution was an attempt by Minnesota Senator and presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar to secure a unanimous consensus on the release of the report from the Senate comparable to the 420-0 vote along the same lines which already passed the House.
— The Hill (@thehill) March 28, 2019
Paul’s motivations for blocking the release of the report have, however, been called into question by opponents who suggest that Paul himself may have something to hide when it comes to the contents of Mueller’s report. As Politico reported in August of last year, Paul acted as a literal go-between in the relationship between Russia and the Trump Administration. At that time, Paul personally delivered a letter from President Donald Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin, which supposedly highlighted the importance of the relationship between the two countries.
“I was honored to deliver a letter from President Donald J. Trump to President Vladimir Putin’s administration,” Paul said in a statement at the time.
Paul’s delivery of the letter followed a controversy in which Trump publicly deferred to Putin when the Russian president denied Russia’s involvement in meddling with the U.S. election, even as American intelligence agencies firmly stated otherwise. Paul was then one of very few prominent defenders of Trump’s statements.
Mueller’s report, to the extent it has been summarized by Attorney General William Barr, does indeed seem to indicate that Russia was clearly involved in the meddling, as accused.