Senate bill would require public report from Mueller probe

United States Capitol (Benjamin Kanter / Mayoral Photo Office)

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal are proposing that special counsel Robert Mueller be required to submit a report to Congress and the public when his Russia investigation is complete.

Legislation introduced by Grassley, R-Iowa, and Blumenthal, D-Conn., on Monday would require any special counsel to send a report to lawmakers and the public at the end of an investigation. The legislation would also require a report within two weeks if a special counsel is fired, transferred or resigns.

Both Grassley and Blumenthal sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Grassley, who was the chairman of the panel until December, said in a statement that people "have a right to know" how the government conducts business and how tax dollars are spent. He said the bill would ensure that the public has access to special council findings in any administration.

The legislation would require that the report include "all factual findings and underlying evidence," according to the senators.

"A special counsel is appointed only in very rare serious circumstances involving grave violations of public trust," Blumenthal said. "The public has a right and need to know the facts of such betrayals of public trust."

Mueller is investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and contacts with Donald Trump's presidential campaign

The bill introduction comes as the panel is prepared to vote on nomination of William Barr to be attorney general this week or next. Barr, who would oversee the Mueller probe and would be in charge of releasing any information, has said he believes Congress and the public should be told the result of the investigation but has stopped short of committing to release a report in full.

In another bipartisan effort, Grassley and Blumenthal supported legislation last year to protect Mueller's job. The bill, approved by the Judiciary panel in April, would allow any fired special counsel to seek a judicial review within 10 days of removal and put into law existing Justice Department regulations that a special counsel can only be fired for good cause.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declined to hold a vote on the bill, however, saying it was unnecessary.