Senior prosecutor Weissmann to leave USA special counsel's team soon

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House to vote on resolution calling for public release of Mueller report

17 March, 2019

In what may be one of the most bipartisan votes in years, the U.S House of Representatives late Thursday morning voted 420-0 to demand the Dept. of Justice publicly release the Mueller report.

In a bill, which likely will come to the House floor for a vote later today, House Democrats call for the public release of any report issued by the special counsel's office.

Andrew Weissmann, who built the case against President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, is stepping down from the Mueller probe to teach at New York University and resume his civil rights activism, reported NPR. Justin Amash of Michigan, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Matt Gaetz of Florida and Paul Gosar of Arizona.

The resolution is unlikely to be passed in the Senate, where Democratic Leader Charles Schumer tried to bring it up hours after House passage.

Justice Department regulations governing special counsels give Barr latitude in deciding how much of the report to make public.

The non-binding resolution said there is "overwhelming public interest" to release the content of the report, which would cap Mueller's investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. Four Republicans voted present. On Thursday, Mueller spokesman Peter Carr said in a statement that Andrew Weissmann, one of the most prominent prosecutors on the team, would be concluding his work "in the near future". He also met with Associated Press reporters on April 11, 2017 to discuss a case against Manafort.

During his confirmation hearings, Barr promised to be as transparent as possible but did not commit to a public release of the full report.

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The move is an attempt to "send a clear signal both to the American people and the Department of Justice" that lawmakers expect to see the full account of Mueller's work, according to the House Judiciary Committee's chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.

Weissmann has been a pivotal member of Mueller's team, which has brought charges against 34 people and three companies during a 22-month-old investigation into whether Trump's 2016 campaign conspired with Russian Federation and whether the Republican president unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe.

"It's nothing but a restatement of the regulation", said Rep. Doug Collins, Georgia Republican. He defended Barr, saying he "understands the questions, the turmoil this has caused".

No date has been mentioned for the Mueller report's release.

Six House committee chairs introduced the resolution on Friday.

Nadler and other House Democrats vowed to subpoena the full report if Barr only provides them with minimal details.

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