Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined other Democrats in their demands for the full Mueller report to be released to Congress and the public.
“We deserve to see the Mueller report, and if there is material that, for whatever reason, should not be shared publicly, it should be shared with the Congress,” Clinton told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in an interview Friday at the Women in the World 10th Anniversary Summit in New York City.
“One of the things that I did as a very young lawyer was work on the impeachment staff of the House Judiciary Committee in 1974, investigating Richard Nixon,” said Clinton, referring to the Watergate scandal for which President Nixon was named an “unindicted co-conspirator” and later impeached. “I know what can be made available, what the court has to be asked to permit to be made available. I know what the Republicans did when they were in charge of the Congress in demanding information from the Justice Department that had never been offered before — very sensitive information. It was all turned over to the Republican Congress.”
“We’re in this bit of a twilight zone, aren’t we?” she continued. “There’s a report that, depending upon which figure you believe, is somewhere between maybe three, four hundred pages long, and it is not being delivered to the Congress, which has an absolute right to see it. It is not being presented to the public.”
The report is expected to be released in the coming days, according to Attorney General William Barr, who testified last week at a hearing on Capitol Hill before House and Senate subcommittees. His summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the 2016 campaign said there was no collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russia. It also stated the Mueller’s findings were “not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”
Democrats, skeptical of the four-page summary of the 400-page report and armed with a subpoena they have yet to issue, pressured Barr for the full, unredacted report. But Barr, while testifying Tuesday, refused to divulge details about Mueller’s report or say whether the White House has seen or been briefed on it.
“I think that what we saw in Congress, with the attorney general’s presentation in both the House and the Senate, is someone who considers his principal duty to be protecting Donald Trump, not protecting the rule of law and the democracy that the Justice Department should be defending,” said Clinton, who lost to Trump in the 2016 presidential election. “And I remember when Nixon was really upset because there was an investigation going on and he fired people who would not do his bidding — until he finally ended up with somebody who would do his bidding — but it didn’t save him, because the information that had been collected was made available to the Congress, to the courts and eventually to the public.”
“I would hope that the law is followed, that the information is provided,” she added, “that the American public and the press has a chance to go through these three to four hundred pages with as few redactions or cross-outs as possible.”
While Trump and Republicans saw Barr’s summary of the report as “complete and total exoneration,” some Democrats have held out belief there was some collusion — like Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who has been one of the most outspoken skeptics of Barr’s conclusions and maintains his stance that there is still “significant evidence of collusion” in the 2016 presidential election.
Clinton, whose 2016 presidential run was marred by WikiLeaks publishing emails obtained through Russian hacks of the Democratic National Committee and her campaign, spoke about her experience in calling for the full report.
“As someone who has been in the eye of the storm all of these years, I think that everybody deserves their chance to tell their story,” she said. “I believe in facts and evidence and law. But this was an investigation that had a serious purpose — to determine what role the Russians played in our election, to try to understand the kind of bizarre connections between Russians and members of the Trump campaign and people close to Trump.”
“These are really important questions,” she continued. “[Not] just because we should, for historic purposes, really find out what did happen. It’s because we need to be prepared to prevent whatever happened in the past from happening again that would influence — wrongly — our elections.”