U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a vote Monday calling for the public release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
The Kentucky Republican claimed the Department of Justice needs more time to determine which parts can be released publicly, The Hill reported.
The measure, which passed unanimously in the House 420-0 on March 14, as reported by The Hill, asks the DOJ to make the full contents of the report public “except to the extent the public disclosure of any portion thereof is expressly prohibited by law.”
In Monday’s Senate session, Minority Leader Charles Schumer asked for unanimous consent, to which McConnell objected. “The special counsel and the Justice Department ought to be allowed to finish their work in a professional manner,” the Kentucky senator said.
“To date, the attorney general has followed through on his commitments to Congress. One of those commitments is that he intends to release as much information as possible,” McConnell continued in his floor remarks. Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio supported McConnell’s objection.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 25, 2019
Mueller submitted his final report Friday to Attorney General William Barr. Barr submitted a letter Sunday to Congress concluding that President Donald Trump’s associates had not colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 elections, and stating that, while Mueller had not made an actual conclusion whether Trump obstructed justice, the report’s findings did not justify pursuing an obstruction of justice charge.
McConnell’s block marks the second attempt by Schumer to pass a resolution calling for public release of the report, the first request having occurred the same day the measure passed unanimously in the House. Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham objected to it, according to The Hill.
After McConnell’s objection, Schumer raised the point that the resolution didn’t say the report should be released “immediately” but that it ought to be released. The White House has said it supports the public release of the Mueller report.
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