Want the best from VICE News in your inbox? Sign up here.
A civil liberties and privacy group filed a lawsuit in federal court Friday demanding special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report from the nearly two-year probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center’s lawsuit regarding the confidential, long-awaited report, which Muller delivered to Attorney General William Barr Friday evening, could serve as an opening salvo for the bipartisan pile-on that’s surely coming for access to the full report.
While Barr said he’ll make “principal conclusions” public, Democrats have already demanded not only all of Mueller’s findings during the course of his investigation but also the underlying evidence for Mueller's conclusions. Republicans, too, have asked that the report be released. The furor over whether President Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to sway the election has cast a long shadow over his tenure.
The center is arguing on the basis of federal information laws that the public has a right to know the “full scope of Russian efforts to disrupt the 2016 election and whether the President of the United States played any role such efforts,” according to the complaint filed in a Washington, D.C., court. Already, the probe has resulted in criminal charges against 34 people. Multiple news outlets have reported the investigation won’t result in any more indictments, but that doesn’t mean that the report doesn’t include serious transgressions.
“The Mueller Report and related Special Counsel records are vital to the public’s understanding of these issues and to the integrity of the political system of the United States,” the organization said in a statement.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center first sought records relating to the investigation from the Department of Justice in November, the organization said, but did not receive a response.
Portions of the report could be delivered to Congress as soon as this weekend, although the Justice Department has reportedly signaled it’s not coming Saturday. The White House said in a tweet Friday that it hasn’t seen the report yet.
Cover: Attorney General William Barr leaves his home in McLean, Va., on Friday, March 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)