Washington -- The confirmation hearing of William Barr for Attorney General left a huge issue hanging: whether Barr, if confirmed, will release the forthcoming Mueller Report to Congress.
Whether he does or not, Mueller can take it upon himself to provide it to Congress under the Lloyd-Lafollette Act of 1912. Mueller is a government employee, paid by taxpayers, and is protected from being dismissed for doing so by the plain language of the Act:
"the right of employees ... to furnish information to either House of Congress, or to a committee or Member thereof, may not be interfered with or denied." 5 U.S.C. § 7211
"The purpose of this Act was to allow Congress to obtain uncensored, essential information from federal employees. Congress intended to allow the federal workers direct access to Congress in order to register complaints about conduct by their supervisors and to report corruption or incompetence."*
That pretty much sums up the situation. Barr could refuse to transmit the report to Congress, but Mueller could certainly act on his own, which would be consistent with his charge to investigate.**
* From https://en.wikipedia.org/
accessed 16 January 2019.
** Moreover, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 makes it illegal for any person to use federal money to “implement or enforce any nondisclosure policy, form, or agreement” that does not explicitly inform federal employees of their right to report any “violation of any law, rule, or regulation, or mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety” to any member of Congress.... See commentary by Stephen M. Kohn at https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/judicial/402027-are-trumps-ndas-legal