By Jon Dougherty
Democrats have been demanding that the Trump Justice Department release special counsel Robert Mueller’s report in full before they even know what’s in it.
They want “transparency,” don’t you know, and they believe the American people “deserve transparency” when it comes to learning what’s in the Mueller report.
Does this call for transparency from Democrats sound familiar? It shouldn’t because they don’t make it very often. They didn’t call for transparency when Obama was in office, and they sure didn’t want POTUS Donald Trump to be transparent last fall when he was calling for full declassification of all documents used by corrupted elements of the U.S. intelligence community and Justice Department to get FISA surveillance warrants on one of the president’s 2016 campaign advisers, Carter Page.
“We want transparency and what I want is I want total transparency,” the president said in September.
“This is a witch hunt,” he added. “It’s a terrible witch hunt and it’s hurt our country and the things that have been found over the last couple of weeks about text messages back and forth are a disgrace to our nation. And I want transparency and so does everybody else.”
Well, we couldn’t have that, Democrats and their Left-wing “mainstream media” propagandists wailed.
“The President shouldn’t be declassifying documents in order to undermine an investigation into his campaign or pursue vendettas against political enemies,” said Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. “He especially shouldn’t be releasing documents with the potential to reveal intelligence sources.”
CNN chimed in:
Top Democrats sent a letter Tuesday to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray expressing “profound alarm” at Trump’s decision.
They also requested an immediate briefing for the “Gang of Eight” — the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate and their intelligence committees — from the agency heads prior to any disclosure. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York, House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff of California and Warner all signed the letter.
“The action (President Trump) has taken, to direct your agencies to selectively disclose classified information that he believes he can manipulate publicly to undermine the legitimacy and credibility of the Special Counsel’s investigation, is a brazen abuse of power,” the letter said. “Any decision by your offices to share this material with the President or his lawyers will violate longstanding Department of Justice policies.”
Is that so? Back then, Democrats cared about “longstanding” Justice Department policies. And about protecting (allegedly) classified sources.
Today, not so much.
“The takeaway from this call is that the American (people) deserve the truth,” Speaker Pelosi said during a call among House Democrats on Saturday, according to reports in Politico and the Washington Times, both of which quoted sources that were not named. “Transparency is the order of the day.”
“The American people deserve the Mueller report, not just the Barr report. In fact, this set of summary conclusions from Attorney General Barr is completely inadequate,” said Sen. Richard “I lied about being in Vietnam” Blumenthal, D-Conn., according to NPR.
House Democratic chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York, Adam “Leaker” Schiff of California, and Elijah Cummings of Maryland said in a joint statement that “it will be vital for the country and the Congress to evaluate the full body of evidence collected by the special counsel, including all information gathered of a counterintelligence nature.”
But what about potential classified sources contained within the Mueller report? After all, he spoke to hundreds of witnesses, many — presumably — who had security clearances and access to the most sensitive information. After all, he was examining potential “collusion” with a foreign government.
And about what Justice Department policies? Under current rules, the Justice Department is under no legal or constitutional obligation to make any part of the report public. There are no rules against it, mind you, but given the gravity of what could be revealed, why should AG Barr release it? And where are those FISA warrant applications, while we’re at it?
The fact is, the faction of perpetually angry, perpetually unhinged Americans who are not satisfied that Mueller didn’t call for POTUS Trump to be put before a firing squad are not going to be satisfied with the public release of his report because it won’t change his conclusions: No collusion, and no evidence to support charges of obstruction of justice.
That said, for his part, POTUS says releasing the full report (redacted for the preservation of classified information, no doubt) is fine with him.
Remember when Obama was that transparent? Neither do we.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10