When Robert Mueller finishes his investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, he is required by law to provide Attorney General William Barr with a confidential report, which may then be released if doing so is deemed “in the public interest.”
It is not. Here’s why:
The restraints placed on the special counsel are purposeful. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is nothing if not careful, said Monday that “just because the government collects information doesn’t mean (it) is accurate, and it can be really misleading.”
Release of uncorroborated allegations can be unfairly harmful. The same Democrats now demanding the Mueller report be made public protested loudly when then-FBI Director James Comey openly disclosed FBI findings in its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails. Even worse were the uncorroborated accusations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing last fall — some of which were referred for prosecution as providing false information to Congress.
No matter what the Mueller report says, it will be politically toxic. Some Democrats and commentators are already predicting that any report will likely prove “anticlimactic” and “inconclusive.” Even if it does not criminally implicate the president, there is little doubt that the report will treat Trump negatively.
OUR VIEW: Free the taxpayer-funded report
Rosenstein spoke one day after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said he would take the Justice Department to court “if necessary” to obtain the full report. There has been no more passionate politician than Schiff to claim conspiratorial collusion. Schiff’s probe will be headline news every night.
That’s the way certain Americans want it. Most don’t.
“Not everything that a man thinks must he say,” wrote wise King Solomon. “Not everything he says must he write. But most important, not everything that he has written must he publish.”
Kenneth Lasson is a law professor at the University of Baltimore, where he specializes in civil liberties.
If you can’t see this reader poll, please refresh your page.