The fight to release the full report from special counsel Robert Mueller now has a powerful Republican on board.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley said on Thursday that he supports the release of the Mueller report, which so far remains only in the hands of Attorney General William Barr. Grassley shared his support on Twitter, joining the congressional Democrats who have called for the report to be released to them.
The report itself is the center of much controversy, as Barr reported on its findings to members of Congress but failed to meet a deadline this week to share the full report with Congress. Barr wrote to lawmakers that the investigation did not find evidence that Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia, and the president would not be indicted for obstruction of justice, but he was not fully exonerated in the report.
A new report from The New York Times calls that summary into question, citing anonymous members of Mueller’s team who believed that Barr downplayed the findings and failed to properly spell out the wrongdoing on the part of Donald Trump contained in the report.
Donald Trump, who in the days after the Mueller report was handed to Barr’s office, said it should be made public. However, he has seemingly gone back on that claim and attacked Democrats this week who were calling for its release. Trump also disputed the New York Times report claiming that the report is much worse for Trump than Barr had said in his summary.
Trump also accused the New York Times of “illegal” reporting but did not specify how the report might have broken the law.
“The New York Times had no legitimate sources, which would be totally illegal, concerning the Mueller Report. In fact, they probably had no sources at all! They are a Fake News paper who have already been forced to apologize for their incorrect and very bad reporting on me!” Trump tweeted Thursday.
A senior law enforcement official tells NBC News that some Mueller team members say his findings paint a picture of a campaign whose members were manipulated by a sophisticated Russian intelligence operation. Some of that information may be classified.https://t.co/8j8xlZFsOD
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 4, 2019
After Barr failed to meet an April 2 deadline to turn over the Mueller report to Congress, Democrats moved to authorize a subpoena to obtain it, sparking what is expected to be a court battle over its release that could eventually reach the Supreme Court. Grassley’s support of the report’s release could signal a shifting tide and a desire on the part of Republicans to get ahead of the issue rather than letting it linger into the 2020 campaign, political experts say.