Release The Report
It seems like it’s been decades since Robert Mueller was appointed Special Counsel for the Russia Investigation so perhaps it is worth noting that the entire point of appointing a Special Counsel was that the Russia Investigation and its conclusions were too important to trust to a political appointee who serves at the pleasure of the President.
It is, therefore, somewhat concerning that the only output from the Russia Investigation that we have was produced by a political appointee who serves at the pleasure of the President — Attorney General William Barr.
Now, there are a lot of folks who will want to dive into the realm of conspiracy here. Barr was involved in the Iran Contra coverup. He was specifically picked by Trump after the last Attorney General refused to recuse himself from the Russia investigation and he’s written extensively on how the entire investigation is a waste of time and money and shouldn’t have happened. So there’s plenty of reason to raise an eyebrow at his getting to speak for the Mueller Investigation.
But no one need entertain such theories to believe that releasing the report in full is a good idea.
Because, while the Mueller Investigation is partially about answering questions like “did the President of the United States collude with a foreign power” and “did the President of the United States obstruct justice,” it is primarily about a much bigger question: are our elections legitimate?
This is a really big and unsettling question and it needs to be answered. Democracy is little more than the radical idea that power derives from a mandate from the masses (not from some farcical aquatic ceremony) and elections are the way in which we determine that mandate. If our elections are untrustworthy, if authority has been conferred upon someone without a mandate, then the Republic itself is under attack.
That’s why the report has to be released in full. Americans have got to know if their government is legitimate. The merest shadow of a doubt can spread like a cancer and throw the entire premise of democratic self determination into question.
In many ways, it would be easier to accept that some small number of the Trump campaign — even the President himself — were turned by Russian intelligence and betrayed their country. That kind of corruption could be excised and destroyed. But if the Mueller report shows — collusion or no — that the Russian government acted to influence the 2016 election and that the Republican party knew and did nothing because it benefited them politically, that would be damning indeed: not collusion, not obstruction, but a deep and profound betrayal of everything for which Americans have sacrificed, fought, and died over the last 250 years.
We have to know. We have to release the report.
Tell Congress What You Think
If the American people could expect satisfactory answers about the 2016 election from Trump and his political appointees there would never have been a reason to create a Special Counsel is the first place. The investigation is not complete until the results are made public and only Congress has the power to demand that. To write to your Representatives and Senators, send the word Resist to Resistbot on Facebook Messenger, Telegram, or as a Twitter direct message. If none of those work for you, Resistbot also supports old fashioned SMS: text RESIST to 50409 to get started. It takes 2 minutes to defend democracy.