Sen. Rand Paul on Thursday blocked a resolution calling for special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia probe to be released to Congress and the public, marking the fifth time Republicans have blocked the House-passed measure.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, asked for unanimous consent to pass the resolution, which cleared the House of Representative in a 420-0 vote earlier this year.
“What we’re talking about is basic transparency, let’s make sure the full Mueller report is released to Congress … and then let’s make sure the American people see as much of this report as possible,” Warner said from the Senate floor.
He added that to warn future campaigns and candidates about potential election interference “we need to fully understand what the Russians were trying to do.”
No more excuses, let's release the Mueller report and let the American people judge the facts for themselves. https://t.co/R013Uy7Yel
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) April 4, 2019
Paul objected to Warner’s request because the lawmaker wouldn’t agree to amend the non-binding House-passed resolution to include provisions calling for the public release of communications between several Obama-era officials including former President Obama, former FBI Director James Comey and former CIA Director John Brennan.
“I think it’s very important that we not turn our country into this back and forth where each successive party tries to use the apparatus of government to investigate the previous president,” Paul said.
“What we don’t know is was President Obama told that the evidence to get this investigation started was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign? We need to know that,” Paul continued.
The New York Times reported on Wednesday that some members of Mueller’s team believe the four-page letter from Attorney General William Barr that summarized the principal conclusions didn’t sufficiently portray their findings. The members suggested that there could be more damaging to Trump than Barr conveyed.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has twice blocked the House resolution from being passed, arguing that Barr is currently working with Mueller to determine what from the report can be released.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has also blocked the House-passed resolution.