Edward Snowden Is Completely Wrong

Whether he’s a hero or traitor, Americans are already so acclimated to the loss of privacy that his revelations won’t unnerve them much.

A TV screen shows the news of Edward Snowden, former CIA employee who leaked top-secret documents about sweeping U.S. surveillance programs, at a restaurant in Hong Kong Wednesday, June 12, 2013. The whereabouts of Snowden remained unknown Wednesday, two days after he checked out of a Hong Kong hotel.
National Journal
June 13, 2013, 4:15 p.m.

Is he a hero — the most im­port­ant whistle-blower in U.S. his­tory, as Pentagon Pa­pers leak­er Daniel Ells­berg called him? Or is Ed­ward Snowden a flat-out trait­or and a very de­luded young man? The 29-year-old con­tract­or at the cen­ter of the biggest na­tion­al se­cur­ity scan­dal in years is elo­quent and im­press­ively in­tel­li­gent, hav­ing ris­en from high school dro­pout and se­cur­ity guard at the Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Agency to uber sys­tems ad­min­is­trat­or at the CIA. Snowden also ap­pears to have ac­ted genu­inely out of con­science, be­cause it’s clear he could have sold what he knows for quite a lot of money, taken down “the sur­veil­lance struc­ture in an af­ter­noon” (as he de­clared in an in­ter­view), or re­vealed un­der­cov­er as­sets that might “have cost lives. In­stead, Snowden, a product of the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment eco­sys­tem who grew up in the D.C. sub­urbs, says he has sac­ri­ficed his own “very com­fort­able” life to ex­pose what he calls Wash­ing­ton’s “ar­chi­tec­ture of op­pres­sion.”

What’s not clear is why Snowden thought that re­veal­ing the NSA’s sur­veil­lance meth­ods would change very much in our gov­ern­ment or so­ci­ety, ex­cept to make it much harder for the NSA, the CIA, and de­fense and in­tel­li­gence con­tract­ors to hire any­one like him in the fu­ture.

That pro­cess, if little else, must now change. Snowden will likely be charged with es­pi­on­age, or worse. Wash­ing­ton will massively re­vamp its vet­ting pro­ced­ures, es­pe­cially for gi­ant con­tract­ors such as Booz Al­len Hamilton, which has grown fat on a diet of gov­ern­ment work and ap­peared to hire Snowden in Hawaii at a gen­er­ous salary of $120,000 al­most as an af­ter­thought. Con­tracts like the one he worked on — to help the gov­ern­ment ana­lyze an over­whelm­ing stream of data — rep­res­en­ted 99 per­cent of its rev­en­ue, most of them re­lated to the NSA.

Oth­er than tightened se­cur­ity clear­ances, though, the start­ling rev­el­a­tions of the past sev­er­al days will prob­ably al­ter very little in the lives of Amer­ic­ans or the way the gov­ern­ment works in a data-driv­en world. That’s not just be­cause, apart from a few out­raged sen­at­ors — Demo­crats Ron Wyden of Ore­gon and Mark Ud­all of Col­or­ado and liber­tari­an Re­pub­lic­an Rand Paul of Ken­tucky — al­most the en­tire U.S. gov­ern­ment, from the White House to Con­gress to the ju­di­ciary, has come out in sup­port of the NSA pro­gram of col­lect­ing troves of tele­phone data and per­son­al In­ter­net in­form­a­tion, us­ing the serv­ers and tele­com­mu­nic­a­tions sys­tems of Amer­ica’s biggest com­pan­ies. If the man­dar­ins of of­fi­cial Wash­ing­ton don’t amend their con­duct, it’s be­cause Amer­ic­ans aren’t ask­ing them to.

A NEW CONCEPT OF PRI­VACY

The reas­on may not be en­tirely ob­vi­ous at first. In the past dec­ade, our very concept of pri­vacy has changed to the point that we’re less likely to see in­form­a­tion-shar­ing as a vi­ol­a­tion of our per­son­al liberty. In an era when our daily lives are already net­worked, we have E-ZPasses that give us ac­cess to the fast lane in ex­change for keep­ing the gov­ern­ment in­formed about where we drive. We shop on­line des­pite know­ing that the com­mer­cial world will track our buy­ing pref­er­ences. We share our per­son­al re­flec­tions and habits not only with Face­book and Google but also (al­beit some­times in­ad­vert­ently) with thou­sands of on­line mar­keters who want our in­form­a­tion. All of this means Amer­ic­ans are less likely to erupt in out­rage today over one more eye on their be­ha­vi­or. “One thing I find amus­ing is the ab­so­lute ter­ror of Big Broth­er, when we’ve all already gone and said, “˜Cuff me,’ to Little Broth­er,” jokes John Ar­quilla, an in­tel­li­gence ex­pert at the Nav­al Post­gradu­ate School in Monterey, Cal­if.

The latest All­state/Na­tion­al Journ­al Heart­land Mon­it­or Poll bears this out. Amer­ic­ans are vaguely aware of these slowly erod­ing walls of pri­vacy, and 55 per­cent say they are wor­ried about the over­all ac­cu­mu­la­tion of per­son­al in­form­a­tion about them “by busi­nesses, law en­force­ment, gov­ern­ment, in­di­vidu­als, and oth­er groups.” The sur­vey also found that an over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans be­lieve that busi­ness, gov­ern­ment, so­cial-me­dia sites, and oth­er groups are ac­cess­ing their most per­son­al in­form­a­tion without their con­sent. Even so, for the most part, they ac­cept it as an un­avoid­able mod­ern phe­nomen­on. Most young­er and col­lege-edu­cated people — in con­trast to Snowden — take a be­nign view of these changes.

Des­pite the press treat­ment of the NSA story, which judging from ed­it­or­i­al opin­ion has come out largely on Snowden’s side, most Amer­ic­ans ap­pear re­l­at­ively un­per­turbed. A Pew Re­search Cen­ter/Wash­ing­ton Post poll con­duc­ted last week­end found that 56 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans be­lieve NSA ac­cess to the call re­cords of mil­lions of Amer­ic­ans is an “ac­cept­able” way for the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment to in­vest­ig­ate ter­ror­ism. An even big­ger ma­jor­ity, 62 per­cent, said it was more im­port­ant for the gov­ern­ment to in­vest­ig­ate ter­ror­ist threats than it was to safe­guard per­son­al pri­vacy. That ex­plains why soft queas­i­ness has not con­gealed in­to hard polit­ic­al out­rage.

An­oth­er prob­lem for the alarm­ists: No evid­ence sug­gests that the worst fears of people like Snowden have ever been real­ized. In his in­ter­view with The Guard­i­an, which broke the story along with The Wash­ing­ton Post, Snowden warned that the NSA’s ac­cu­mu­la­tion of per­son­al data “in­creases every year con­sist­ently by or­ders of mag­nitude to where it’s get­ting to the point where you don’t have to have done any­thing wrong. You simply have to even­tu­ally fall un­der sus­pi­cion from some­body.”

In a state with no checks and bal­ances, that is a pos­sib­il­ity. But even the Amer­ic­an Civil Liber­ties Uni­on, which has called NSA sur­veil­lance “a stone’s throw away from an Or­wellian state,” ad­mits it knows of no cases where any­thing even re­motely Or­wellian has happened. Nor can any op­pon­ent of NSA sur­veil­lance point to a Kafkaesque Joseph K. who has ap­peared in an Amer­ic­an courtroom on mys­ter­i­ous charges trumped up from gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance. Sev­er­al civil-liber­ties ad­voc­ates, asked to cite a single case of ab­use of in­form­a­tion, all paused for long seconds and could not cite any.

There is also great mis­un­der­stand­ing about how the NSA sys­tem works and wheth­er such ab­use could even hap­pen in the fu­ture. It’s un­clear if the gov­ern­ment will be cap­able of ac­cess­ing and mis­us­ing the vast ar­ray of per­son­al data it is ac­cu­mu­lat­ing, as Snowden pre­dicts. The NSA ap­pears primar­ily to use com­puter al­gorithms to sift through its data­base for pat­terns that may be pos­sible clues to ter­ror­ist plots. The gov­ern­ment says it is not eaves­drop­ping on our phone calls or voyeur­ist­ic­ally read­ing our e-mails. In­stead, it tracks the “metadata” of phone calls — whom we call and when, the dur­a­tion of those con­ver­sa­tions — and uses com­puter al­gorithms to trawl its data­bases for phone pat­terns or e-mail and search keywords that may be clues to ter­ror­ist plots. It can also map net­works by link­ing known op­er­at­ives with po­ten­tial new sus­pects. If something stands out as sus­pi­cious, agents are still re­quired by law to ob­tain a court or­der to look in­to the data they have in their store­houses. Of­fi­cials must show “prob­able cause” and ad­here to the prin­ciple of “min­im­iz­a­tion,” by which the gov­ern­ment com­mits to re­du­cing as much as pos­sible the in­ad­vert­ent va­cu­um­ing up of in­form­a­tion on cit­izens in­stead of for­eign­ers — the real tar­get of the NSA’s PRISM pro­gram. The pro­gram, ac­cord­ing to Dir­ect­or of Na­tion­al In­tel­li­gence James Clap­per, has had suc­cess. He told NBC that track­ing a sus­pi­cious com­mu­nic­a­tion from Pakistan to a per­son in Col­or­ado al­lowed of­fi­cials to identi­fy a ter­ror­ist cell in New York City that wanted to bomb its sub­way sys­tem in the fall of 2009.

In­deed, the scan­dal is per­haps nar­row­er in scope than it’s made out to be. “The only nov­el leg­al de­vel­op­ment that I see in that area is the gov­ern­ment says, “˜We know there’s rel­ev­ant in­form­a­tion in there — if we don’t get it now it will be gone; we won’t be able to find it when we need it. So we’ll gath­er it now and then we’ll search it only when we have a good basis for the search to be done,’ “ says Stew­art Baker, who was the first as­sist­ant sec­ret­ary for policy at the Home­land Se­cur­ity De­part­ment and is a former NSA gen­er­al coun­sel. “The courts are still in­volved. They say, “˜You put it in a safe place, lock it up, come to me when you want to search it.’ If you’re ser­i­ous about ways to make [coun­terter­ror­ism] work and still pro­tect pri­vacy, it seems like a pretty good com­prom­ise.”

Baker says the gov­ern­ment built in as many con­trols and over­sights as it could think of. “Two dif­fer­ent pres­id­ents from two dif­fer­ent parties with very dif­fer­ent per­spect­ives. Two dif­fer­ent In­tel­li­gence com­mit­tees led by two dif­fer­ent parties. A dozen judges chosen from among the life-ap­poin­ted ju­di­ciary. None of them thought this was leg­ally prob­lem­at­ic,” Baker says. “And one guy says, “˜Yeah, I dis­agree, so I’m go­ing to blow it up.’ If the in­sist­ence is, “˜It only sat­is­fies me if it’s out in pub­lic,’ then we’re not talk­ing about in­tel­li­gence-gath­er­ing. We’re not even talk­ing about law en­force­ment. We’re talk­ing about re­search. And I’m not sure you can run a large coun­try in a dan­ger­ous world just by do­ing open-source re­search.”

Oth­er ad­voc­ates of the NSA op­er­a­tion say the sheer vast­ness of the pro­gram is what helps shield cit­izens. “In­di­vidu­als are pro­tec­ted by the an­onym­ity gran­ted by the quant­ity of in­form­a­tion,” says Eric Pos­ner, a Uni­versity of Chica­go law pro­fess­or. “It’s just too dif­fi­cult to spy on such a vast num­ber of people in a way that’s mean­ing­ful.”

THE CUL­TURE OF IN­TRU­SION

Be­ha­vi­or­al re­search shows that, like the pro­ver­bi­al frog in the pot of wa­ter who doesn’t no­tice the rising tem­per­at­ure, Amer­ic­ans have grown in­ured to the “cul­ture of in­tru­sion” in today’s world of con­tinu­ous data ex­change. “There are un­deni­able changes in be­ha­vi­or we have been ob­serving in the past 10 years or so, with the birth and rise of so­cial me­dia,” says Aless­andro Ac­quisti, an eco­nom­ist at Carne­gie Mel­lon Uni­versity who has stud­ied the ef­fects. “There is evid­ence that people will give away per­son­al data for very small re­wards, such as the psy­cho­lo­gic­al be­ne­fit of shar­ing with oth­ers, or even for a dis­count coupon,” he says. “For in­stance, on so­cial me­dia, people quite openly talk, without con­tain­ing their audi­ence only to their Face­book friends, about dat­ing, eat­ing, go­ing out, suc­cess, and fail­ures — something that 10 years ago you would have dis­closed only to your dir­ect friends.”

The Michigan-based Ponemon In­sti­tute, which con­ducts in­de­pend­ent re­search on pri­vacy and data col­lec­tion, has found that a re­l­at­ively small num­ber of Amer­ic­ans, only about 14 per­cent, care enough about their pri­vacy on a con­sist­ent basis to change their be­ha­vi­or to pre­serve it. These are the people who will not buy a book on Amazon be­cause they would have to sur­render in­form­a­tion about them­selves, or don’t go to cer­tain web­sites if they fear they’re go­ing to be be­ha­vi­or­ally pro­filed, or won’t con­trib­ute to polit­ic­al cam­paigns for the same reas­on. By con­trast, a sub­stan­tial ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans, about 63 per­cent, say they care about their pri­vacy, but “there’s no evid­ence to sug­gest they’re go­ing to do any­thing dif­fer­ent to pre­serve it,” says Larry Ponemon, who runs the in­sti­tute. (Some 23 per­cent care so little about the is­sue they are known as “pri­vacy com­pla­cent,” Ponemon says.)

People are blithe even as they dis­cov­er how much their on­line be­ha­vi­or can hurt them per­son­ally, on everything from job and col­lege ap­plic­a­tions to ter­ror­ist in­vest­ig­a­tions. “People are los­ing jobs be­cause of things they pos­ted on their Face­book page,” says Loren Thompson, chief op­er­at­ing of­ficer of the Lex­ing­ton In­sti­tute, who re­fuses to use Face­book or Twit­ter or even con­duct po­ten­tially con­tro­ver­sial searches on Google. “I just had a feel­ing all along that by the time people real­ized how vul­ner­able they were, it would be too late. There would be too much in­form­a­tion about them on­line.”

There is a dif­fer­ence, to be sure, between gov­ern­ment and private-sec­tor ab­uses of pri­vacy. “Even I re­cog­nize that it’s one thing for Google to know too much, be­cause they aren’t put­ting me in jail. It’s an­oth­er thing for gov­ern­ment, be­cause they can co­erce me,” says Mi­chael Hay­den, who as dir­ect­or of the NSA from 1999 to 2006 was a primary mover be­hind the agency’s trans­form­a­tion from Cold War di­no­saur to a post-9/11 ter­ror-de­tec­tion le­viath­an with some­times fright­en­ing tech­nic­al and leg­al powers. “But if we wer­en’t do­ing this, there would be holy hell to raise.”

That is likely true, too. De­fend­ers of the pro­gram say, as Hay­den does, that the gov­ern­ment had no choice. “This is about tap­ing for­eign tele­com­mu­nic­a­tions trans­mis­sions that just hap­pen to pass through the United States be­cause of the way the In­ter­net ar­chi­tec­ture is de­signed,” Thompson says. “It really doesn’t have any­thing to do with spy­ing on Amer­ic­ans; it’s about spy­ing on for­eign­ers the easy way.” At first this meant find­ing the right com­mu­nic­a­tions hard­ware. The USS Jimmy Carter, a Sea­wolf-class sub­mar­ine, was mod­i­fied to tap in­to the trunk lines, but there are really only a hand­ful of ma­jor In­ter­net con­duits to the Middle East, Thompson says. Even­tu­ally, someone prob­ably said, “Jeep­ers, most of this traffic passes through the U.S. any­way. Why don’t we just talk to Ve­r­i­zon?”

Hay­den ad­mit­ted this, sur­pris­ingly, in an open ses­sion of the House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee way back in 2000, telling the mem­bers that this mon­it­or­ing was needed to en­able the NSA to get in front of the data. No one listened right way, but after 9/11 and the pas­sage of the USA Pat­ri­ot Act, the mood shif­ted dra­mat­ic­ally in fa­vor of more ag­gress­ive sur­veil­lance. “This agency grew up in the Cold War. We came from the world of En­igma [the Nazi en­cryp­tion device whose code was broken by the Al­lies], for God’s sake. There were no pri­vacy con­cerns in in­ter­cept­ing Ger­man com­mu­nic­a­tions to their sub­mar­ines, or Rus­si­an mi­crowave trans­mis­sions to mis­sile bases,” Hay­den says today. Now, “all the data you want to go for is co­ex­ist­ing with your stuff. And the trick then, the only way the NSA suc­ceeds, is to get enough power to be able to reach that new data but with enough trust to know enough not to grab your stuff even though it’s whizz­ing right by.” The de­mon­iz­a­tion of the NSA now is iron­ic, he says, con­sid­er­ing that in late 2002 the Sen­ate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee (which in­cluded Wyden), in its joint 9/11 re­port with the House, cri­ti­cized the agency for its “fail­ure to ad­dress mod­ern com­mu­nic­a­tions tech­no­logy ag­gress­ively” and its “cau­tious ap­proach to any col­lec­tion of in­tel­li­gence re­lat­ing to activ­it­ies in the United States.”

Most Amer­ic­ans, based on the polls, seem will­ing to make the trade-off between what Pres­id­ent Obama called “mod­est en­croach­ments on pri­vacy” and safety from ter­ror­ists. “There is a lot of au­thor­it­ari­an over­reach in Amer­ic­an so­ci­ety, both from the drug war and the war on ter­ror,” Dav­id Si­mon, the writer and pro­du­cer of the hit HBO shows The Wire and Treme, wrote in his blog this week, in a scath­ing blast at Snowden and the pun­dits who have li­on­ized him. “But those planes really did hit those build­ings. And that bomb did in­deed blow up at the fin­ish line of the Bo­ston Mara­thon. And we really are in a con­tinu­ing, low-in­tens­ity, high-risk con­flict with a dif­fuse, com­mit­ted, and ideo­lo­gic­ally mo­tiv­ated en­emy. And for a mo­ment, just ima­gine how much blovi­at­ing would be waft­ing across our polit­ic­al spec­trum if, in the wake of an in­cid­ent of do­mest­ic ter­ror­ism, an Amer­ic­an pres­id­ent and his ad­min­is­tra­tion had failed to take full ad­vant­age of the ex­ist­ing tele­phon­ic data to do what is pos­sible to find those needles in the hay­stacks.”

HOW WE SUR­RENDER PRI­VACY

Every time you go on­line, you’re a tar­get. Ad­vert­isers are search­ing for you — maybe not by name, but through your in­terests and your as­sessed in­come and even your health symp­toms, all based on your search-en­gine terms and the cook­ies de­pos­ited on your com­puter to watch you surf the In­ter­net and re­port back on your habits. Sites may have an agree­ment with ad­vert­isers, which can tar­get their mes­sages to you. And they likely sell this in­form­a­tion to third-party brokers who can do what they want with it.

A sweep­ing Wall Street Journ­al in­vest­ig­a­tion in 2010 found that the biggest U.S. web­sites have tech­no­lo­gies track­ing people who vis­it their pages, some­times up­wards of 100 tools per site. One in­trus­ive string of code even re­cor­ded users’ key­strokes and trans­mit­ted them to a data-gath­er­ing firm for ana­lys­is. “A di­git­al dossier over time is built up about you by that site or third-party ser­vice or data brokers,” says Adam Thier­er, seni­or re­search fel­low at the Mer­catus Cen­ter’s Tech­no­logy Policy Pro­gram at George Ma­son Uni­versity. “They col­lect these data pro­files and util­ize them to sell you or mar­ket you bet­ter ser­vices or goods.” This is what powers the free In­ter­net we know and love; users pay noth­ing or next to noth­ing for ser­vices — and give up pieces of per­son­al in­form­a­tion for ad­vert­isers in ex­change. If you search for a Mini Cooper on one web­site, you’re likely to see ads else­where for light­weight, fuel-ef­fi­cient cars. Com­pan­ies ro­bot­ic­ally cat­egor­ize users with de­scrip­tions such as “urb­an up­scale” to “rur­al NAS­CAR” to tail­or the ad­vert­ising ex­per­i­ence, says Jim Harp­er of the liber­tari­an Cato In­sti­tute. “They’ll use ZIP codes and census data to fig­ure out what their life­style pro­file is.”

As a res­ult of these changes, the gov­ern­ment’s very concept of pri­vacy has grown ever nar­row­er and more tech­nic­al. “Too of­ten, pri­vacy has been equated with an­onym­ity; and it’s an idea that is deeply rooted in Amer­ic­an cul­ture,” Don­ald Kerr, the prin­cip­al deputy dir­ect­or of na­tion­al in­tel­li­gence, said in 2007 as Con­gress was busy de­bat­ing new rules for gov­ern­ment eaves­drop­ping. That’s quickly fad­ing in­to his­tory, Kerr said. The new ver­sion of pri­vacy is defined by enough rules af­fect­ing the use of data that Amer­ic­ans’ con­sti­tu­tion­ally enu­mer­ated rights (pri­vacy not among them) will be safe. “Pro­tect­ing an­onym­ity isn’t a fight that can be won. Any­one that’s typed in their name on Google un­der­stands that.” We’ve already giv­en up so much pri­vacy to the gov­ern­ment, Kerr said back then, that it can be pro­tec­ted only by “in­spect­ors gen­er­al, over­sight com­mit­tees, and pri­vacy boards” that have be­come staples of the in­tel­li­gence com­munity.

Clap­per seems to be re­ly­ing on a sim­il­ar concept. The United States, he said in an in­ter­view with NBC, can put all the com­mu­nic­a­tions traffic that passes through the coun­try in a massive meta­phor­ic­al lib­rary. Pre­sum­ably, the “shelves” con­tain the phone num­bers of Amer­ic­ans, the dur­a­tion of their calls, and their e-mail cor­res­pond­ence. “To me, col­lec­tion of U.S. per­sons’ data would mean tak­ing the book off the shelf, open­ing it up, and read­ing it,” Clap­per said. In­stead, the gov­ern­ment is “very pre­cise” about which “books” it bor­rows from the lib­rary. “If it is one that be­longs or was put in there by an Amer­ic­an cit­izen or a U.S. per­son, we are un­der strict court su­per­vi­sion, and have to get per­mis­sion to ac­tu­ally look at that. So the no­tion that we’re trolling through every­one’s e-mails and voyeur­ist­ic­ally read­ing them, or listen­ing to every­one’s phone calls, is on its face ab­surd. We couldn’t do it even if we wanted to, and I as­sure you, we don’t want to.”

Crit­ics say the Con­sti­tu­tion’s Fourth Amend­ment, de­signed to guard against un­reas­on­able searches and seizures, should im­pede the gov­ern­ment’s ac­cess to per­son­al data — even if that in­form­a­tion is avail­able in the com­mer­cial sphere. “If Google has it, that says noth­ing about wheth­er the gov­ern­ment should have it,” says Cato’s Harp­er. “It’s not reas­on­able to col­lect in­form­a­tion without prob­able cause or reas­on­able sus­pi­cion.”

For most Amer­ic­ans, the re­as­sur­ance that the gov­ern­ment won’t gra­tu­it­ously pur­sue them may well be enough. For Snowden and his de­fend­ers, it clearly is not. In ex­plain­ing his dar­ing act, he said he hoped to pro­voke a na­tion­al de­bate about sur­veil­lance and secrecy, and ad­ded: “The greatest fear that I have re­gard­ing the out­come for Amer­ica of these dis­clos­ures is that noth­ing will change.”

That fear is likely to be real­ized. Snowden offered a valu­able win­dow in­to a top-secret world The Wash­ing­ton Post wrote about in great de­tail three years ago, when it pub­lished a series on a clandes­tine in­tel­li­gence-in­dus­tri­al com­plex that “has be­come so large, so un­wieldy, and so se­cret­ive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it em­ploys, how many pro­grams ex­ist with­in it, or ex­actly how many agen­cies do the same work.” Per­haps the coun­try should thank Snowden for re­open­ing that is­sue, even as it pro­sec­utes him for what is plainly a vi­ol­a­tion of his oath of secrecy. But after the thanks are offered, we will prob­ably just get back to busi­ness.

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"The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has delivered a report on his inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election to Attorney General William P. Barr ... Barr told congressional leaders in a letter late Friday that he may brief them within days on the special counsel’s findings. 'I may be in a position to advise you of the special counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend,' he wrote in a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate Judiciary committees. It is up to Mr. Barr how much of the report to share with Congress and, by extension, the American public. The House voted unanimously in March on a nonbinding resolution to make public the report’s findings, an indication of the deep support within both parties to air whatever evidence prosecutors uncovered."

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