WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Several hundred people gathered outside the White House and in New York’s Times Square in small rallies organised by liberal advocacy groups demanding the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who received the confidential report last month at the close of Mueller’s 22-month investigation, has said he intended to release a redacted version to Congress and the public by mid-April.
But Barr did not meet a demand by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives to provide the unredacted report to lawmakers by April 2, prompting the liberal advocacy group MoveOn to press ahead with the rallies.
The rallies were thinly attended, with about 250 people outside the White House and about 300 in New York’s Times Square waving signs, singing and demanding the report, which is nearly 400 pages long excluding appendices.
“Release the report, release the report,” the crowd chanted in Times Square.
“We’re here because we care about small-‘d’ democracy, which this president has undermined at every turn,” said Betsy Malcolm, a 63-year-old retired lawyer from Manhattan. “We have a right to see the information in the Mueller report.”
In Washington, the crowd was addressed by U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who won a committee vote on Wednesday allowing him to subpoena the attorney general for the full report.
“The Constitution gives Congress the power to take the appropriate action to hold the president accountable,” the Democrat said. “To do our job we need the Mueller report.”
Barr, a Trump appointee, has made public what he described as the “principal conclusions” of Mueller’s report. Mueller’s team did not establish that Trump or his campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 election, according to Barr’s four-page summary, an accusation Trump and his associates have long denied.
Mueller left unresolved in his report the question of whether Trump obstructed justice by impeding the Russia investigation. In his letter to Congress, Barr said he and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, had determined there was insufficient evidence to establish the president committed that offence.
Russia’s government has denied interfering in the U.S. election.
Barr told Congress in a letter last week that he must redact material presented to a grand jury, as required by law, as well as information that could reveal U.S. intelligence agencies’ sources and methods. Congressional Democrats have indicated they will fight those redactions in court if the subpoena is ignored.
Reporting by Jan Pytalski in Washington and Jonathan Allen in New York; Additional reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Writing by Jonathan Allen; editing by Frank McGurty, Jonathan Oatis and Richard Chang