Investigation results are released, but many questions remain

On March 22, Robert S. Mueller III delivered the results of the investigation on the 2016 election to Attorney General William Barr. The investigation evaluated whether anyone in the Trump administration conspired with the Russian government or obstructed justice.

Barr wrote a letter to Congress announcing the conclusion of the investigation. In this letter, Barr did not disclose the results of the investigation, but detailed that the investigation was over. Additionally, Barr made clear that he was given the full confidential report and would review it.

Two days after Barr sent the letter, he wrote Congress again detailing the principle findings of the Mueller report.

During the time of the investigation, “The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses,” according to Barr’s summary.

Mueller’s report is more than 300 pages long, yet Barr only sent a four-page summary of it. It begs the question: is the public entitled to see the full report?

Assistant Professor of political science and pre-law advisor, Douglas Hume, J.D., shared his thoughts.

“I don’t think the public is entitled to see the full report,” Hume said. “There is a lot of information in the report that may be privileged, such as grand jury testimony and national security secrets.  I think as much as possible should be released to the public, but this will be up to the Attorney General.”

However, Democrats demanded the public needs access to the full report and its evidence.

In regards to whether or not the Trump administration or anyone involved with the campaign conspired with the Russian government, the official report states, “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

In plain terms, there was no conspiring between the Trump administration and the Russian government during the election.

The report summary touches on whether or not anyone from the Trump administration engaged in obstruction of justice during the 2016 campaign. Barr quotes the Special Council saying, “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

Senior political science major Trevor Pine touches on this.

“The four-page summary given by the Attorney General is confirmed by Mueller and should be enough to state that Trump should not be indicted,” Pine said. “I believe this is good news for the country because regardless of political affiliation, you never would want to see that your President colluded with another county to rig the election.”

The official  report exceeds 300 pages and is ranked with other high-profile reports in recent decades. There was a 445-page report on President Bill Clinton in September 1998 and the 9/11 report was 567 pages. However, in contrast to these mega reports, the report on President Richard Nixon in 1974 was only 62 pages.

Moving forward, Attorney General Barr says he will release as much information as legally possible.