The redactions in the Mueller report were well done, said U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-4) during the New Canaan Advertiser’s weekly community coffee Friday, April 19, at the New Canaan Historical Society.
Himes urged everyone to read the 448-page report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office, the day after it was made available to the public by the Department of Justice.
“To give credit where credit is due here,” Himes said to a crowd of about 50 people, “I think, based on my reading yesterday, that the redactions that were made are all very legitimate redactions designed to protect either national security, sources and methods, or to protect ongoing investigations.
“I was worried we were going to get into some awful three-month fight about whether this redaction was there to protect the president or whatever,” Himes said, but instead “I think that was done well.”
“Those redactions that are about protecting national security will be removed for those on the intelligence committee to look at,” he said.
In spite of having a member of the U.S. Intelligence Committee available the day after the long-anticipated report was made available, it was 35 minutes after questions for congressman started that he was asked about the report,
Those at the weekly discussion asked about several other topics rather than the report, which covers subjects ranging from question about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice.
“My headlines were everybody needs to read it because there’s really a lot in there that we as citizens can learn,” he said to the Advertiser afterward.
“They will learn how Russians used particular Facebook postings, particular Twitter, and how they used bots to really raise the temperature of our political dialog. A lot of it was race related, some of it was religion ... it was really fascinating. “
“You can see this in the report how they used provocative statements and tweets and Facebook postings to really raise the emotional temperature,” he said.
“The answer is for people to understand that when they see something on Twitter, it may be designed to influence them. That was one of my biggest takeaways,” he said.
Asked if there were any surprises in the report for him, Himes said: “I was taken aback by the president essentially being rescued by (former White House Counsel Donald) McGahn and others by not doing what he ordered them to do. It feels like watching the Godfather where they are ordering their subalterns to do bad things. A lot of the rest of it didn’t surprise me on the Russia stuff.”
Caption: Congressman Jim Himes spoke at the New Canaan Advertiser coffee. — Grace Duffield photo