Rep. Joaquin Castro On Mueller Report
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
And almost immediately after the special counsel delivered that report to the attorney general, Democrats renewed their calls for the report and evidence on which it's based to be made public. Joaquin Castro is a Democrat from Texas who serves on the House Intelligence Committee. He tweeted just 15 minutes after the news broke, the Mueller report is owed to the American people. It should be made public without any changes. Mr. Castro joins us now. Thanks so much for being with us.
JOAQUIN CASTRO: Yeah. Thanks for having me.
SIMON: So you want to see every sentence, every period.
CASTRO: Yeah. I mean, I think that it's a report that's owed to the American people, the American people, after all, the ones that had their election interfered with by the Russians in 2016. And so I think everybody should get to see this report and read it for themselves.
SIMON: Now, you sit on the Intelligence Committee. Isn't it possible that there is intelligence information there that, for the security of the American public, needs to be redacted?
CASTRO: Yes, that's right. I mean, I guess I should have said that - accepting for any information like that, but everything else should be made public.
SIMON: Do you have confidence in the attorney general?
CASTRO: He's demonstrated so far he hasn't interfered with the investigation, doesn't look like he's been heavy-handed. So it seems like he's done his job so far.
SIMON: Now, it appears as we sit here - you heard probably our Carrie Johnson emphasize that so far as we know, there are no plans for further indictments from the special counsel, including a conspiracy case that might link Trump campaign officials to Russia. As far as you're concerned, is this the end of that inquiry?
CASTRO: Well, we have to wait and see what's in the report. There are three buckets here. One of them was what we kept calling collusion, which is really conspiracy. The second one is obstruction of justice, and then the third part would be illicit business dealings. And the obstruction of justice part - I suspect in the Mueller Report whatever he has found he will lay out and say this is most appropriate for Congress to deal with. The third part, any kind of illicit business dealings based on the testimony of Michael Cohen that I heard a few weeks ago, for example, I believe that's being handled by the Southern District of New York. And then to your question on the collusion or conspiracy part, it could be that he'll lay out what he found and it's not enough to get a conviction, for example, so they didn't pursue those charges. But I think - I'm interested to see what's in the report...
SIMON: Yeah. Maybe not enough for a conviction but enough to elicit your interest.
CASTRO: Sure, absolutely. It may be that he says, hey, it looks like people did bad things, but we didn't think that we could get a conviction on it. I think all of us just don't know because we haven't seen the report yet.
SIMON: Do you want to hear from Mr. Mueller directly? Should he be subpoenaed?
CASTRO: Yeah. I think it's important to hear from Bob Mueller on how he did his investigation, of course, what he found, whether there were any undue influences. And, you know, I would hope that it wouldn't take a subpoena. I don't imagine that it would with him. I would think that he would voluntarily step up and do that.
SIMON: You mentioned Michael Cohen's testimony. What's your feeling about Mr. Cohen's veracity as a witness now? There have been some questions raised in the wake of his testimony.
CASTRO: Yeah. I mean, of course, that's very debatable because he's taken both sides of positions - right? - but it seems to me that at this point in his life he's going to jail and he's basically decided to come clean about what he did, about what he knows of The Trump Organization and some of the things that were done by either Mr. Trump or those around him.
SIMON: Well, Representative Joaquin Castro of Texas, thank you very much. May - we live in interesting times. Thanks so much for making the time for us today.
CASTRO: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.