Political News

The 1 thing almost everyone agrees on about the Mueller report

Posted February 7, 2019 7:31 p.m. EST

— You'd be hard-pressed to find much that Republicans and Democrats agree on when it comes to special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the possibility of collusion.

Democrats view Mueller as a true patriot, conducting a nonpartisan investigation into a foreign power trying to influence our elections. Republicans, led by the President of the United States, see it as a witch hunt, a hoax, a nothingburger.

Except -- they agree on whether they want the actual final report by Mueller to be released! According to new CNN/SSRS polling, 87% believe Mueller's investigators "should produce a full, public report on their findings." 87%! Bipartisanship!

Even when you dig into the numbers, it's clear that every side wants to see the report.  Nine in 10 Democrats (92%) and independents (88%) favor public release of the report. Even 8 in 10 Republicans feel the same way!

Which is, well, interesting -- especially because Bill Barr, Trump's attorney general nominee who might be confirmed by next week, was somewhat cagey about whether he would be willing to release the full report when asked about it during his confirmation hearing.

"I also believe it is very important that the public and Congress be informed of the results of the special counsel's work," Barr said in his opening statement. "For that reason, my goal will be to provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law." That caveat -- "as much transparency as I can" -- led to aggressive questioning from Senate Democrats about what, exactly, he meant. Barr did little to clarify.

For his part, Trump has refused the chance to say he wants the Mueller report released, choosing instead to defer to Barr's judgment. "That's up to the attorney general," Trump said in an interview on Super Bowl Sunday with CBS. "I don't know. It depends. I have no idea what it's going to say."

Which is, um, kind of weird. Trump is essentially saying: If it's good for me, we should release it. If not, then, uh, not.

The Point: Given the overwhelming public sentiment in favor of releasing the full Mueller report, any public official -- Trump included -- who stands in the way of that happening could face serious blowback. The public wants what the public wants.