The redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his 22-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice is — objectively — long as hell.
The report, released publicly April 18, is 448 pages long. Vice News spent nearly 12 hours reading the report on a livestream. Seth Abramson live-tweeted a 450-tweet thread about it. Publishers are selling bound copies of the report (it’s available for free online). And presidential candidates have been calling on the House to start impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump in the aftermath of its release.
So we decided to ask all the Democratic presidential campaigns if their candidate had read the entire redacted version of the report now that it's been out for a few weeks, and if it changed their opinion about the investigation or about Trump.
Eight of the 22 Democrats we reached out to responded to BuzzFeed News; some say they’ve read the entire report, while others say they’ve read summaries and that they’re waiting for the release of the unredacted report before they read it.
The report came out while Warren was in the air on a flight back from a campaign trip in Utah. The Massachusetts senator started reading the report on the flight and stayed up late reading upon returning home to Boston, according to a spokesperson, Kristen Orthman. Warren finished the following morning. It wasn’t long afterward that Warren became the first presidential candidate to call on the House to begin impeachment proceedings against the president. Warren this week read portions of the redacted report on the Senate floor.
The former vice president did not respond for comment to BuzzFeed News but recently told reporters on the campaign trail that he has not read the full report.
An aide for Sanders told BuzzFeed News that the Vermont senator “reviewed the findings” of the report and that “it confirmed the obvious.” Sanders added that Congress should continue to investigate the president’s conduct and called on Mueller to testify before Congress.
Sanders also added that he supports House members’ decision to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt. The House Judiciary Committee voted in favor of holding Barr in contempt Wednesday for refusing to turn over an unredacted copy of the Mueller report and Mueller’s investigative files. The resolution will now go before the full membership of the House.
“Trump must follow the Constitution, because the American people deserve the truth,” the Sanders aide said.
An aide to Booker told BuzzFeed News that the New Jersey senator has read the report and is troubled by how the attorney general framed the report in an initial letter that the Department of Justice said laid out Mueller’s findings.
“He is very concerned that Barr misled the public with his letter as opposed to what was actually contained in Mueller report,” the aide said. “Cory believes that the Mueller report in its entirety should be released without redactions and Mueller should testify both in front of the House and Senate.”
A spokesperson for Harris’s campaign didn’t respond for comment. Harris recently called on Congress to start impeachment proceedings against the president.
“We have very good reason to believe there is an investigation that has been conducted that has produced evidence that tells us that this president and his administration engaged in obstruction of justice, and I believe Congress should take the steps toward impeachment,” Harris said at a CNN town hall late last month.
A campaign spokesperson directed BuzzFeed News to O’Rourke’s previous comments on the Mueller investigation but didn’t indicate if he’d read the entire report. In a recent interview with the Dallas Morning News, the former congressman said that there was “enough evidence now for the House of Representatives to move forward with impeachment.”
Swalwell, who is on the House Intelligence Committee, told BuzzFeed News that he’d read the entire report, but added that it’s “no substitute” for the unredacted report.
“Attorney General William Barr's refusal to turn that over to us is part of the basis for my call to impeach him,” Swalwell said. Swalwell told BuzzFeed News that, even in its redacted form, the Mueller report confirmed that “the Trump campaign was eager to accept help from a foreign adversary with which it had dozens of contacts, and President Trump repeatedly and willingly tried to obstruct the Mueller investigation.”
Swalwell added that it seems like the only reason Trump hasn’t been indicted is “because he’s a sitting president.”
Castro’s campaign did not respond for comment. In a recent interview with CNN, Castro didn’t explicitly call for Congress to start impeachment proceedings against the president but said he thought “it would perfectly reasonable for Congress to open up those proceedings.”
The former Housing and Urban Development secretary has called on Congress to start impeachment proceedings against Barr.
Williamson told BuzzFeed News that she had read the report and it had not changed her opinion on the investigation or the president.
Yang told BuzzFeed News that he is “running for president and [he's] laser-focused on solving the problems that got Donald Trump into the White House." He added, "My job is to beat Trump at the ballot box in 2020. Congress can do its job and I'll do mine."
Yang did not indicate if he’d read the Mueller report, and a campaign spokesperson did not respond to follow-up questions.
A campaign spokesperson for Ryan, a member of Congress from Ohio, told BuzzFeed News that he had read the entire report.
“The report confirmed Congressman Ryan’s belief that President Trump clearly obstructed justice,” the spokesperson said.
A spokesperson for Moulton’s campaign told BuzzFeed News that the Massachusetts congressman had read “extensive summaries” of the report and that he’s waiting for the unredacted version of the report to be provided to the public.
A spokesperson for Delaney’s campaign told BuzzFeed that the former congressman had read the entire report and that it “confirmed exactly what we already knew, the president lacks respect for the rule of law or institutions. Robert Mueller is a man of immense integrity and patriotism. I look forward to hearing his testimony.”
Campaign representatives for Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; former governor John Hickenlooper; Gov. Jay Inslee; Gov. Steve Bullock; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand; Sen. Michael Bennet; Mayor Wayne Messam; and Sen. Amy Klobuchar didn’t immediately respond for comment.
Ruby Cramer contributed reporting to this story.