screengrab of NBC's Meet the Press
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (screengrab of NBC’s Meet the Press)

WASHINGTON — Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes on Sunday urged the public release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s pending report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections, saying on NBC’s Meet the Press that “the country needs to know what happened.”

“Given that we’ve been on the edge of our seats for the last two years on this issue, everyone in this country needs to know what happened and then we decide where to take it from there,” Himes told Meet the Press host Chuck Todd.

Mueller is reportedly close to wrapping up his investigation that could answer whether the Trump campaign participated with Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. His report could be handed to the Justice Department as early as this week. How much of the report is made public would be determined by newly confirmed Attorney General William Barr.

Himes said it is important for the nation to see what Mueller has discovered.

“More than anything else the question of the Russian interference and the possibility of collusion by the president and his people has twisted our politics into something unrecognizable for the last two years, including behavior on the part of the president —
attacking the FBI, attacking Bob Mueller,” he said. “You know everything about this has become political. The way to end that, of course, is for the truth to be out there.”

With Democrats now holding the majority in the House, they will put pressure on the Trump administration to allow Mueller to testify before Congress and for his report to be released. California Rep. Adam Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, plans to do just that.

In a Sunday interview on ABC’s This Week, Schiff said he would “take it to court if necessary” should Barr try “to bury any part of this report.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is also pressing for release of the report. A member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he voted against Barr’s confirmation earlier this month in part because Barr would not pledge to release the Mueller report in full.

Speaking on the Senate floor at the time, Blumenthal said he feared Barr would put President Trump’s interests ahead of the American people.

“The American public has a right to see the Mueller report, not the Barr report. We have a right to see not what William Barr in his discretion permits us to know, but in fact what the findings and evidence are,” Blumenthal said. “The Mueller report, not the Barr report. My fear is that despite his very vague references to wanting transparency, his refusal to commit to making that report public in fact reveals his state of mind: that he will abridge, edit, conceal, redact parts of the report that may be embarrassing to the President. In effect, he will act as the President’s lawyer, not as the people’s lawyer.”