Despite repeated and adamant claims that they want “transparency” around Robert Mueller’s report regarding his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, Senate Republicans continue to block any and all efforts to make the report public, as Vox reports. On Thursday, in the latest example of such interference, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, for the second time, blocked a resolution pushing for the public release of the Mueller report.
The resolution in question, which marks the fifth such attempt to compel the Justice Department to release the report in full, came as an increasing number of news outlets delivered reports indicating that there is a strong likelihood that the report contains information of interest above and beyond what has so far been revealed by Attorney General William Barr’s abbreviated summary that was provided to Congress and released to the public.
Even as the House has been substantially successful with similar efforts, passing one such resolution with a vote of 420-0, Republicans in the Senate have remain steadfast in their refusal to consider such a measure. Paul and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have effectively blocked the Senate from voting on disclosure of the report.
Critics of the Senate’s handling of the report have been quick to point out that their opposition appears to be purely political.
“I have yet to hear a legitimate policy concern raised by my Republican colleagues who are blocking this bipartisan resolution or trying to bog it down with bizarre partisan amendments,” said Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia in a statement.
Paul has characterized his opposition as having nothing to do with protecting Donald Trump, but rather to do with making sure former President Barack Obama faced similar scrutiny.
“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 while blocking the resolution. “What we need to discover and we do not yet know: Was President Obama involved?”
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) April 5, 2019
Paul’s personal motivations for blocking the release of the report have been called into question by opponents who suggest that he himself may have something to hide when it comes to the contents of the report. As Politico reported in August of 2018, Paul worked as a literal go-between in the relationship between the Trump Administration and Russian leaders. At that time, Paul personally delivered a letter from Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin, which supposedly highlighted the importance of the relationship between Russia and the United States.