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Tom Steyer says public deserves to see Mueller report because it paid for probe

Tom Steyer on possible Trump impeachment

Liberal billionaire activist Tom Steyer argues that special counsel Robert Mueller's final report should be released to the American public because the far-reaching Russia investigation has been funded indirectly by taxpayers. "I think in all of this the question is going to be do we get the facts in front of the American people so they can see the truth," Steyer told CBS News correspondent Ed O'Keefe Monday. 

"We paid for the Mueller report," he added. "We deserve to see the Mueller report."

Democrats have expressed concerns that the final report on Mueller's probe into Russian meddling in U.S. elections and possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow might be "sanitized" by the Justice Department or not even be released to the public at all. Citing Justice Department guidelines, the new attorney general, William Barr, has suggested he might not release the report, saying the findings may not be made public if no one is prosecuted.  

Even if the Mueller investigation finds no evidence of collusion or obstruction of justice by the president, Steyer is expecting damaging information from the public testimony of former Trump fixer Michael Cohen, who is testifying before Congress this week.

"We are going to see Michael Cohen testifying that he made payments at behest of Mr. Trump to women to prevent them from telling the truth," he told O'Keefe. "And then you are going to see Mr. Cohen testifying that he lied directly to Congress about those payments and also the about the Trump Organization's relationship and business dealings in Russia during the campaign."

"I don't think it is possible that we are going to come up empty on this," he added.

Steyer, who recently announced he will not run for president in 2020, is still spearheading a multi-million dollar campaign to promote President Trump's impeachment and removal from office. On the question of what specifically he's done to merit impeachment, Steyer suggested the president had committed obstruction of justice by trying to shut down the investigation into his campaign. He also cited the payments that Mr. Trump takes "on a daily basis" from foreign governments, which is likely a reference to the money Trump hotel properties are making off of foreign governments. 

The Democratic donor is also hosting events in the districts of Democrats who lead powerful House committees with investigative powers over the Trump administration, including House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York and House Committee on Oversight and Reform chairman Elijah Cummings of Maryland.

Asked if he would back primary challenges to Democratic chairmen if they don't support impeachment proceedings, Steyer demurred and said he will continue to host events in their districts to "show how much support there is" for the president's removal among their constituents. 

Although he said his presidential bid would've been "really successful," Steyer noted that he can have more "differential positive impact" in American politics through his high-profile impeachment drive. 

"I think if we can come together across party lines and across geographic lines to get rid of the most lawless president — we'd replace him with a Republican — it would be a purely patriotic thing that we would choose to do together," he said.  

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