NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana said if the Mueller report confirms that President Donald Trump did not collude with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign, then high-profile Democrats should apologize to the nation.
The report is scheduled to be released Thursday (April 18).
"First of all, the claim and the whole idea behind the report was to see if there was collusion with Russia,” Scalise said during an interview with FOX 8.
Attorney General William Barr’s previously released summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings said the two-year investigation found no evidence that Trump or his campaign conspired with Russia to influence the presidential election. But Barr also said Mueller did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump engaged in obstruction of justice.
Scalise was asked if he had concerns that the report could contain information that may be damaging to Trump.
“We all know that Russia tried to interfere with our elections during the Obama Administration and that’s where it happened. It happened under his watch, but at the same time we found no collusion and the report, I would expect, is going to show that there was no collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russia,” Scalise said. "And so, the question then will be, all those people like Chairman [Adam] Schiff -- who’ve been running around for two years saying there was collusion -- if in fact there was no collusion, are they finally going to apologize to the American people for trying to mislead them for this long?”
Democratic leaders in Congress have insisted that the full report be released to the public.
"For the attorney general though to say I’ll use my own judgment about what I redact that’s not necessarily going to be the final product. The American people deserve the truth. They need to know the truth,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said during an interview with PBS.
Tulane law Professor Keith Werhan worked in the U.S. Justice Department in Washington.
"We don't even know how much of the report we're going to be able to see,” Werhan said on the eve of the report’s release.
He added that there is a no way to say if the report will be consequential for Trump until it is released.
"The honest answer is we don’t know. We don’t know what is going to be in it. We don’t know the extent to which it exonerates the president and his campaign, or the extent to which it implicates the president and his campaign -- if not indirectly illegal behavior, but behavior that would be considered to be inappropriate or damaging to their credibility. We simply don’t know that,” Werhan said.
And some Democrats have warned of court fights if they determine the portions of the report that are not blacked out contain too little information.
Pelosi said they are eager to read the 400-page document.
“We have very smart people who will be reading it from the standpoint of our committees and the rest,” Pelosi said.