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Protesters demand immediate release of Mueller report

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Protesters gathered at Civic Plaza Thursday evening carrying signs, chanting and demanding that the full, complete and unredacted Mueller report be released to the public and to Congress. (Rick Nathanson/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Carrying signs that read: “Release the Report,” “What R U Afraid Of?” and “Orange Lies Matter,” about 200 protesters gathered at Civic Plaza Thursday evening to demand that the full and complete report from special counsel Robert Mueller be released immediately.

The protesters had marched from the Simms Building at 4th Street and Gold, where several members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation have their offices. Among the marchers were representatives from those offices.

Rayellen Smith, president of Indivisible Nob Hill, a progressive activist group and a main organizer of the protest, said the Albuquerque event was part of a National Day of Action, with marches and protests in communities across the country, all calling for the release of the Mueller report.

Mueller’s investigation, which took nearly two years, was only recently completed. It is believed to have focused primarily on alleged collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian operatives, as well as allegations that President Trump and/or people working on the president’s behalf tried to obstruct the special counsel’s investigation. Mueller presented his nearly 400 page report to Attorney General William Barr, who released a four page summary.

Heather Ferguson, executive director of Common Cause, New Mexico, said the organization was founded during the Watergate scandal of former President Richard Nixon. “This is just a continuation of history,” she said. “Our job is to hold power accountable, and accountability is not going to happen without full transparency of the Mueller report.”

As the crowd chanted, “Lock him up, lock him up,” Ferguson said that even though AG Barr has said he will release the report — redacted to protect national security — the suspicion is that “it will also be redacted to protect third parties,” including the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. Barr has said the document contains sensitive grand jury material.

Greg Bloom, who heads Sen. Tom Udall’s New Mexico Office, read a statement from the senator: “We don’t need to rely on the attorney general’s characterization of the report. We must read the report ourselves, review the evidence on our own and come to our own conclusions.”

Udall also said the American people need to know if the president’s business interests conflict with the American peoples’ interests. The American people, “need full disclosure of the president’s tax returns and financial dealings, and they need the full divestiture by the president of all potential financial conflicts.”

Brenda McKenna, a field representative for Congresswoman Deb Haaland, shared some of Haaland’s recent social media posts, including one in which she took Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to task for blocking a resolution to release the full Mueller report.

“We know who McConnell works for,” Haaland said. “The American people deserve to know the truth.” The full report and all its findings should be made public, “to ensure that government remains accountable to the people,” she said.

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About 200 people gather at Civic Plaza Thursday evening, demanding the immediate release of the complete Mueller report. Similar protests occurred Thursday in communities across the country. (Rick Nathanson/Albuquerque Journal)

 

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