Special counsel Robert Mueller's findings on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election should be released due to the intense public interest of the probe, former FBI Director James Comey argues in a column for The Washington Post.
"Providing detailed information about a completed investigation of intense public interest has long been a part of Justice Department practice," Comey writes, citing the Justice Department's investigation into the 2014 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and its 2015 probe into allegations the Internal Revenue Service illegally targeted Tea Party groups because of their political beliefs.
"It doesn't happen often, because ordinarily, nothing outweighs the privacy interests of the subject of an investigation that ends without public charges," he writes. "But department tradition recognizes that transparency is especially important where polarized politics and baseless attacks challenge law enforcement's credibility."
Comey also disputes claims by Republicans that DOJ rules forbid transparency about the completed work of the special counsel, saying "it is difficult to imagine a case of greater public interest than one focused on the efforts of a foreign adversary to damage our democracy, and in which the president of the United States is a subject."
Mueller, who was charged with leading the investigation nearly two years ago, is said to be wrapping up his report in the coming weeks. He is also looking into whether Russia colluded with the Trump campaign.
Trump has repeatedly called Mueller's probe a witch hunt and has denied any collusion.
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