Congress Should Hire Mueller to Investigate Obstruction

Instead of waiting for a partial report from Barr, Congress should just recreate its own independent findings.

Rather than waiting to see what scraps of the Mueller report Attorney General William Barr eventually decides to make public, Congress should simply begin their own oversight investigation of obstruction of justice, nepotism, and abuse of power and hire Robert Mueller to run it.

Barr is likely to claim that either executive privilege or national security interests prevent him from releasing the full Special Counsel report that Mueller has submitted. Or, Barr could decide that as a matter of law it is impossible to obstruct a crime that has not been indicted, and therefore any of Mueller’s findings about obstruction are irrelevant and therefore should be buried. Congress could spend months waiting for a partial summary and more months waiting for a Supreme Court packed with ideological judges who love executive power to rule on whether the public has a right to know what Mueller found.

Now that Fox News has rehabilitated Robert Mueller from a witch hunger into the respected Republican former FBI director that he has always been, he has unique credibility to staff a congressional investigation. He reportedly refrained from drawing his own conclusions about collusion in his report to Barr, which is exactly what he should do for Congress. This approach would avoid the inevitable pitfalls that occur whenever we ask the executive branch to investigate itself, which is why Mueller was always under threat of being fired by Trump during his investigation.

If the executive branch wants to hold onto the most important parts of its own report, fair enough. The legislative branch should simply produce its own, separate report. I expect it wouldn’t take Mueller long to compile it. House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff have already been beefing up their investigative staff. Mueller would be the perfect addition to their teams.

Once everything Mueller knows becomes public, the people can draw our own conclusions about whether Donald Trump or others obstructed justice or abused their office. Those might very well be different from AG Barr’s, and that is the whole point of having a separate branch of government to check and balance the executive.

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