By Staff Writer Sawyer Pollit.
The Mueller report has been dominating the political news cycle since it has been released. It’s a topic that can be difficult to follow and even more difficult to come to a solid conclusion on.
A brief summary of the situation is that Mueller and his team submitted a 300 plus page report to attorney general William Barr. This report, which could condemn or exonerate President Trump in regards to Russian collusion, was summarized by Barr in a four page report.
This has been a point of contention due to many Republicans seeing this summary as proof of Trump’s innocence, and most Democrats seeing this summary as an attempt to cover up more damning information found within the full report.
Since the summary was put out by Barr, Democrats have called for the release of the full report, going as far as to subpoena the document, and Republicans have repeatedly denied this request. From an admittedly left-wing point of view, the refusal to release the report by Barr is possibly the most incriminating move he could make.
At first glance, one would think that if the report proves the innocence of President Trump, Barr would rush to release the report and finally put an end to the “Witch Hunt” that has been driving us all insane for two years. However, he claims that there is classified information in the Mueller report that needs to be redacted before it is given to Senate Democrats.
In response to this claim, it should be noted that there is no precedent set for what level of security clearance members of Senate receive. In the past, clearance was given out on a need-to-know basis. One could argue that regarding matters of potential Russian conclusion, treason, or other matters of national security, clearance would be needed for, at the very least, some specific members of the Senate.
Going off of that reasoning, many prominent Republican opponents of the release want to give more time to Barr in order to work with the Special Counsel to provide a version of the report that is suitable for public view.
Another question arises from the summary of the Mueller report. How can a document that is over 300 pages in length be accurately summarized in 4 pages? If one were to turn in a book report of that length, they would surely fail. Why can a matter of extreme national interest be allowed to be wrapped up in less pages than a college midterm essay?
More developments will most likely occur before the date of publication for this article, but as it stands right now Senate Republicans have blocked the release of the report for a total of five times, with Rand Paul (R-KY) being the most recent Senator to block the release.
What does this all mean for us? The average American citizen who won’t be getting security clearance any time soon, who won’t be working with the Attorney General, and who most likely just wants to let this whole thing to either move on or die?
There is simply not enough information available to tell. Yes, claiming innocence while hiding the report does look extremely incriminating. Summarizing a 300 page document in what would amount to twenty cents of printing money looks not only sloppy but makes it seem like information is being omitted.
However, until the report is released or until the contents of the summarized report can be corroborated by independent or democratic sources, there is no way that we in the public can trust what William Barr writes in his summary. As of right now, it would be prudent to adopt a healthy attitude of skepticism until one can actually read the report for themselves.