Amash votes ‘present’ on making Mueller’s Trump report public

President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, addresses his remarks at the Pentagon Thursday, January 17, 2019, announcing the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Review. | Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour, Flickr
Updated, 2:35 p.m. with comments from Congressman Andy Levin:

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Justin Amash was one of four Republicans who voted “present” on a resolution stating that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s forthcoming report on Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election should be made public.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly passed the resolution on a 420-0 vote. Seven lawmakers didn’t cast votes.

Justin Amash

President Donald Trump has vehemently criticized Mueller’s investigation, which has ensnared his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and longtime advisers like Roger Stone. Mueller has indicted or gotten guilty pleas from 34 people and three companies “that we know of,” Vox reports.

The Republican lawmakers voting “present” on the measure — a way to avoid a “yes” or “no” vote — were Matt Gaetz of Florida, Paul Gosar of Arizona and Thomas Massie of Kentucky.

Amash, who represents West Michigan, declined to comment when asked about his vote.

“I’ll write some stuff on it,” the Cascade Township Republican said as he hurried between House office buildings — presumably referring to social media.

Gaetz said in a statement that his vote was intended as a rebuke to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

“I’ve said to millions of Americans on television that I support releasing the Mueller report. I didn’t need to embrace Nancy Pelosi’s foreword to it today,” the Florida Republican said. “I take specific exception to the elements of the resolution noting praise for Mueller, without also noting the criticism of his very biased staffing decisions. It’s like he was fishing for talent in the Hillary Clinton fan club aquarium.”

Robert Mueller, Wikimedia Commons

Top Democrats called the adoption of the resolution an important step toward promoting transparency.

Pelosi’s office issued a statement Thursday morning saying, “The American people deserve to know the truth: full transparency is essential in ensuring that the American people have full confidence in the integrity of our democracy.”

Freshman U.S. Rep. Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.) said the resolution was necessary.

“The House of Representatives today overwhelmingly called on the Justice Department to follow precedent and release the findings of the Mueller report when the special counsel investigation has concluded,” he said. “Despite the President’s repeated efforts to discredit the investigation and pre-empt any of its findings, the Justice Department must act in the best interest of the American people and provide transparency, accountability and hopefully closure following an investigation that has produced historic indictments.”

Most House Republicans sided with Democrats in endorsing the resolution.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) smiles after receiving the gavel during the first session of the 116th Congress at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 3, 2019 | Win McNamee, Getty Images

Arizona U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs was among the 190 Republicans who voted in favor of the measure, expressing confidence that the results will clear President Trump.

“Today’s resolution, though meant as an underhanded attempt at undermining President Trump, it aligns with the objectives of the Republicans in Congress,” Biggs said in a statement. “Let the American people see the report. Let them judge the information for themselves. The President has nothing to hide, and I am confident that my constituents will see that for themselves.”

Robin Bravender
Michigan native Robin Bravender is the DC Bureau Chief for the Newsroom, a consortium of 10 nonprofit news publications, including the Michigan Advance. Previously, Robin was a reporter for Politico, E&E News and Thomson Reuters.

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