U.S. Sen. Bob Casey hopes expectations for a heavily redacted Mueller report are ‘too pessimistic’

  • Jan Murphy, PennLive

With this week’s anticipated release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., said he doesn’t have high hopes for what will be made available either to the public or to Congress but is keeping his fingers crossed he is wrong.

During a stop in Harrisburg on Monday to promote federal legislation to expand on the tax-deferred savings account program for people with disabilities he championed into law in 2014, Casey said he favors the public getting to see a version of the report containing only intelligence-related and possibly some grand jury proceeding redactions.

But he believes members of Congress should be entitled to see the complete version of the report.

In his 4-page executive summary, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said the investigation found no evidence that President Donald Trump’s campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia to influence the last presidential election but reached no conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice.

But Casey said it’s critical to have more details on what is known with certainty that Russia did interfere with America’s elections.

“We know with certainty why they interfered and what they were trying to do but we don’t know a lot of details,” he said. “In order to stop the Russians from ever having another adverse impact on another American election, especially on a presidential election, we’ve got to have the information that’s contained in the Mueller report to set up those safeguards and legislative policy impediments to prevent the Russians from ever doing this again.”

U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and others have been adamant that the law grants Congress access to not only Mueller’s report but the testimony and other material that supports his conclusions.

Casey said members of Congress have been privy to other intelligence information so this report should not be treated differently. As for information gleaned from grand jury proceedings, he said from the Watergate era, it was learned you can ask a judge to allow some or all grand jury testimony to be released.

“Members of Congress should be allowed to see the report even with the intelligence issues,” he said. “That’s what I’m hoping will happen but the worry is what we will get this week, eventually, is something that is heavily redacted. That’s the expectation and I hope the expectation is too pessimistic.”

 

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