Robert Mueller’s nearly two-year long investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election has come to a conclusion. Millions of Americans have been waiting for this report and after Robert Mueller announced that his report has concluded, the nearly 400-page long report was sent to the U.S. Attorney General William Barr for review. In fear that Barr will edit out certain portions of the report, many have voiced their opposition to sending the report to AG Barr for review because many believe that the report needs to be released to the public immediately in its entirety.
Robert Mueller began his investigation in May 2017. The goals of the investigation were to figure out whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election and whether President Trump obstructed justice. The investigation involved more than 2,800 subpoenas, nearly 500 search warrants, approximately 500 witnesses, and 13 letters to foreign governments. It resulted in 37 indictments and 6 guilty pleas. In conclusion, the investigation did not find that the Trump administration conspired with the Russian government to undermine the 2016 election.
In Barr’s four-page letter to the Justice Department, it stated: “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” Barr stated that there was not enough evidence to charge Trump on an obstruction of justice. Both Trump and Sarah Huckabee Sanders have falsely claimed that Trump has been completely exonerated even though the words in Barr’s letter clearly state the opposite.
Before flying back to D.C. from Florida, President Trump told reporters, “There was no obstruction, and none whatsoever, and it was a complete and total exoneration.” Furthermore, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders then tweeted, “The Special Counsel did not find any collusion and did not find any obstruction. AG Barr and DAG (Deputy Attorney general Rod) Rosenstein further determined there was no obstruction. The findings of the Department of Justice are a total and complete exoneration.” Both of them have falsely claimed that Trump has been completely exonerated even though the words in Barr’s letter clearly state that Trump has not been completely exonerated.
Meanwhile, Democrats and Democratic presidential candidates have been calling for the release of the full report to the public. They announced that the American public deserves to see the report in its entirety without any redactions.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, strongly believing that the report should be directly interpreted by the American people, criticized Barr for his summary of the Mueller report. She stated: “No thank you, Mr. Attorney General, we do not need your interpretation. Show us the report and we can draw our own conclusions. We don’t need you interpreting for us. It was condescending, it was arrogant and it wasn’t the right thing to do. So the sooner they can give us the information the sooner we can all make a judgment about it.”
In response to the opposition, Barr has announced that the report will be released in mid-April or even sooner and that he is willing to testify before Congress about the report. Emory University student Justin Kim commented, “Many people including government officials built up the Mueller report to be a key piece of evidence that had the potential to harm Donald Trump’s presidency. Yet, the revealing of Mueller’s findings seems to have little to no effect on his presidency.” He further added, “Trump seems to have been exploiting the revealing to support the claim that he has committed no injustice. While the findings may not have been the smoking gun that many thought it would be, what may happen afterward can prove to be a potential problem for Trump as the House is currently under Democratic control.”
As millions of Americans wait for the release of the report, they can only hope that they will be able to see the truth and interpret it for themselves.
Jennie Kim, Grade 11
Immaculate Heart High School