EDITORIAL: The Mueller report will mark a turning point for young people

By Editorial Board

For many college students, the 2016 election was the first time we voted for major political office. It was our first opportunity to be politically engaged, hopeful and passionate about the future of the country.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into the Trump campaign has been looming over America’s collective mind since only a few months after we went to the polls for the first time. Beginning in May 2017, Mueller’s team has investigated potential obstruction of justice and interference in the election cycle by Russia.

With the investigation completed and indictments made against a handful of members of Trump’s inner circle, Attorney General William Barr is the only person in the country with access to the full, uncensored report. It is his job to decide what to release: to censor or not to censor, to share it with Congress or with the masses, to protect democracy or to undermine it.

Patrick Casey

The report should be released. Immediately.

The Mueller report will reveal whether our voices actually mattered. The contents of the report will gauge just how hard we need to fight moving forward. Only a small level of redaction in the cases of private citizens’ identity or serious national security threats should be allowed, and such edits should be agreed upon by Congress.

Despite the narrative so many politicians and news organizations are presenting, this is about more than Trump. This is about more than rhetoric and different sides of the aisle. This is about whether we can trust the government that represents us. Whatever the report contains, we should be able to read it for ourselves and draw our own conclusions. The 138 million people who voted in the 2016 election and the hundreds of millions of others affected by their decision deserve the truth, no matter how divisive, damaging or damning that truth may be.

In the past few years, politics have strayed so far from the transparency and integrity we crave. Following the constant flip-flopping, Twitter feuds and protests on the House floor is draining and unnerving. Every day we sit on the edge of our seats, wondering what the next catastrophe is going to be. Releasing the Mueller report will prove that politics are more than just a game with dire consequences. It will prove honesty and accountability still matter amid the chaos and divisiveness.

The report’s release will mark a line in the sand; Barr has the choice of where to draw it. He has the opportunity to support transparency and to affirm there are still shreds of our democracy worth fighting for. Or he can side with cowardice that protects shrinking from the truth. Perhaps that is the direction our political system is swiftly sliding, but we will do everything in our power to push back and demand better.