House approves measure calling for Mueller report to be made public

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The House voted unanimously Thursday for a resolution calling for any final report in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation to be made public, a symbolic action created to pressure Attorney General William Barr into releasing as much information as possible when the probe is concluded.

Attorney General William Barr delivers remarks to the National Association of Attorneys General in the State Dining Room ahead of President Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 4, 2019.

The resolution is not binding but it is a way to make clear to Attorney General William Barr that there are strong expectations of him. But the resolution does not force Barr to do so.

As such, it is not clear if the Republican leader of the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, will put the resolution on the Senate floor for a vote.

Mueller, who is investigating any collusion with the Russians on the part of President Trump and his campaign associates, reportedly may be close to wrapping up the almost two-year probe. Trump has denied collusion and obstruction.

Despite the House's vote on Thursday, the decision of how much of Mueller's report becomes public still rests in Barr's hands. Jerry Nadler, D-New York, told lawmakers that the report should be made available to the public and Congress, emphasizing that "transparency is fundamental to the special counsel's process".

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Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa introduced legislation with Democratic Sen.

"Congress will not accept any attempt by Mr Barr or the president to bury the report and the findings of the special counsel".

The resolution, introduced last week by the heads of six House oversight committees that are investigating Trump, calls on Barr to make public everything in the Mueller report that is not expressly prohibited by law and to provide the entire document to Congress.

Trump has labeled Mueller's investigation a "witch hunt", maintaining that no collusion occurred between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

Texas Rep. Will Hurd, a Republican member on the House Intelligence Committee who represents a swing district along the southern border, called on his colleagues to support "full transparency".

The final vote tally was 420 members voting in favor, no members voting against, and four members (Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Thomas Massie, R-Ky. and Paul Gosar, R- Ariz.) voting "present". He added that it was critical to pass the resolution because of the "many questions and criticisms of the investigation" raised by the Trump administration.

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