After nearly two years of research, a redacted version of the anticipated Mueller Report, outlining information regarding speculated Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and obstruction of justice, was made available to the public. Originally submitted in March, a censored version was released by the Justice Department Thursday, April 18.
“I thought it was all just really crazy. For two years we’ve been waiting and what it had in it was insane,” CHS senior Arpan Barua said.
Attorney General William Barr had released a four-page summary of the report in March, in which he indicated there was no collusion with Russia and that the president was not to be prosecuted. It was recently revealed that Mueller had sent a letter to Barr voicing his discontent with the summary and its claims.
“I feel that there seems to be a strong discrepancy between the content of the report and the summary of the report that was provided and I think that unless something is going to compromise national security that everybody should be able to read what’s in there,” English teacher Lisa Marshall said.
Since its release, the report has been under fire for its redactions, with the general public calling for an uncensored version to be put out. Many people feel that there was a lack of information with the redactions in place.
“I trust the government less because it goes to show that people would hide specific information to make [themselves] look better in the public’s eye,” sophomore Ashley Kharbanda said.
There was a general consensus among multiple students in which felt that the government was hiding key information that American citizens deserved to know and that the best way to alleviate this distrust was to release the full report.
“Because this is a report that’s been discussed, that’s been talked about for so long and it could reveal so much about the government, it’s the right of the people to understand what’s going on in the government.” sophomore Asma Tariq said. “I understand that there are some things that the government can’t be transparent about, but this is one of the things that regarding our president, we have to look up to, and yet, we can’t.”
The report in its entirety is concealed and only two lawmakers have been able to view a less-redacted form of the document, those being Rep. Doug Collins and Sen. Lindsey Graham. This is contrary to the fact that Barr offered this version to 12 congressmen comprised of six Democrats and six Republicans.
“When it is for a good purpose, there are things that I feel like we shouldn’t know and don’t need to know, but at the same time, someone should know them, other than one or two people. So, I feel like there has to be some kind of compromise made there,” said Marshall.
Some of the population also reported feeling a decline in approval when it came to the federal government and policymakers.
“I was saddened by the amount of fighting it needed to get released. Transparency like this is healthy for democracy and when there were politicians resistant to it, it was just disheartening to see,” said Barua.
When the federal government begins to hide information, lower governments may take it as a sign to do the same, leading to secrecy at all levels.
“It only scratched the surface, it didn’t really go much into detail as it should have, so I feel like lower government officers and officials are going to feel like they don’t have much to lose so they just hid [information],” said Tariq.
The Mueller Report needs to be made completely available to the public because Americans have a right to know what is in it. Keeping it secret is forcing trust in the government to deteriorate and allowing lower-level governments to take part in the same redaction process that purposefully keeps information from the country’s citizens. At this rate, it is only bound to get worse.
“The fact that it took forever to really get this out there just makes me extremely hopeless for the future because it’s just crazy that voters would allow these types of people in office, but we have just have to keep believing,” said Barua.