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Voters Respond To Mueller Investigation's End

Mar 24, 2019
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Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between President Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia is over. Attorney General Barr has said he's analyzing the report and will present his conclusions to Congress soon. NPR correspondents and member station reporters have been asking voters around the country what they're making of what we know so far and what they'd like to know. NPR's Sarah McCammon has more.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: If there's bipartisan agreement around one thing about the Mueller investigation, it's probably this.

JAMIE CERNEK: Finally.

CHARLES HEIDEN: My initial reaction is finally. It's been a long time coming.

TIM COLLINS: Thank God, yes (laughter).

GREG SCHOLTZ: What a relief. Finally, it's over.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Yeah (laughter).

MCCAMMON: That was Jamie Cernek in Washington, D.C., Charles Heiden in Virginia Beach, Tim Collins in Wichita, Kan., and Greg Scholtz in D.C. After nearly two years of investigation, the Mueller report is in the hands of Attorney General William Barr. The Department of Justice has said there will be no additional indictments, something many Republicans are hailing as a positive sign for President Trump. At a weekly Republican Party breakfast in Virginia Beach yesterday, local chairwoman Tina Mapes said she's pleased with that news.

TINA MAPES: It signals to me that there was probably a lot of hype in the media about things that people took and ran with that misunderstood things that were going on. I think that the people that were trying to do the investigation, trying to keep their head down and look at the facts, tried to do a fair investigation.

MCCAMMON: In Kansas City, Philip Meltzer, a Democrat, said he doesn't make much of the lack of indictments from Mueller's investigation. He's waiting to see what might come from other investigations that have spun out from Mueller's probe in places like New York and Virginia.

PHILIP MELTZER: I think there are too many other venues where things are being litigated or possibly prosecuted. I don't think it's over by a long shot. But I'd be interested to see what this report says.

MCCAMMON: Leading Democrats are calling for the release of the full report, an idea that Jennifer Arnold, a Democrat from Denver, supports.

JENNIFER ARNOLD: I feel like that's information that the public should have regarding the current president, being able to understand what they've found out about his campaign dealings and potential fraud or illegal activity.

MCCAMMON: In Amherst, Mass., student Deepika Singh, a 21-year-old Democrat, said she has some concerns about how the report will be interpreted.

DEEPIKA SINGH: I would want the House to definitely pressure it to become public. I mean, of course, I don't know what the findings are going to be. So I don't want them to latch onto the wrong information. I just want them to focus on, actually, what the results of the report are rather than maybe things that they found out in the report that aren't relevant to any illegal happenings.

MCCAMMON: Back in Virginia Beach, Republican Steve Middlebrook, a retired attorney, says it's hard to say whether the report should be released without knowing what's in it, like potentially sensitive national security information. And Middlebrook says he thinks people will see what they want to see in the report.

STEVE MIDDLEBROOK: I think the Republican reaction is going to be that it's a tempest in a teapot. The Democratic reaction is going to be, let's wait for the Southern District and see what they do.

MCCAMMON: Sitting at the same table full of retirees, his friend Al Ablowich says he would like the report to be made available, though he admits...

AL ABLOWICH: We're not going to read it.

MCCAMMON: At least, not the whole thing.

ABLOWICH: I would like to be in a position to read the whole report if I wanted to. But it's probably many more pages and probably no pictures.

MCCAMMON: Either way, Republicans and Democrats should soon have a clearer picture of what Mueller has found. Sarah McCammon, NPR News, Virginia Beach. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.