As the United States continues to grapple with the end of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) want his full final report released publicly.
Discussing William Barr’s Sunday letter to Congress summarizing the report, Pelosi and Schumer asserted in a joint statement:
‘Attorney General Barr’s letter raises as many questions as it answers. The fact that Special Counsel Mueller’s report does not exonerate the president on a charge as serious as obstruction of justice demonstrates how urgent it is that the full report and underlying documentation be made public without any further delay.’
Barr said in his letter that more material would be forthcoming after his team reviewed the Mueller report’s contents for anything covered by the federal legislation protecting grand jury proceedings. In the meantime, as Pelosi and Schumer note, a couple of key, troubling questions remain clear.
Barr shared that Mueller’s report specifically asserts it does not exonerate the president over allegations of obstruction of justice that have stemmed from his many public and private efforts to impede the progress of the Russia investigation. Unsurprisingly, once Barr released his summary, Trump claimed the Mueller report concluded with “Total EXONERATION,” although it specifically says otherwise.
The president and his associates have desperately tenuous ground on which to base that claim because of a key part in Barr’s summary of Mueller’s report. He shares that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein took it upon themselves to determine whether or not the president should be considered guilty of obstruction of justice, and they claim there’s ultimately no distinguishable offense.
That’s obviously strikingly different from the Mueller report’s conclusion, and House Democrats want answers. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) has already said he hopes to bring Barr in for questioning over the discrepancy.
Pelosi and Schumer added a jab straight at the Attorney General, offering:
‘Given Mr. Barr’s public record of bias against the Special Counsel’s inquiry, he is not a neutral observer and is not in a position to make objective determinations about the report.’
As discussed during his confirmation hearings, Barr specifically criticized Mueller’s probe into possible presidential obstruction of justice before even being nominated — and now he’s in office and we’re here, with him deciding to close up the key investigative question of his own accord.
House Democrats have made their intent to pick up the slack abundantly clear. Pelosi and Schumer asserted that Congress “requires the full report and the underlying documents so that the Committees can proceed with their independent work,” which includes investigations across the House Judiciary, Intelligence, and Oversight committees.
Nadler’s panel has been examining possible obstruction of justice, the Intelligence Committee’s Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has targeted possible corrupt foreign ties on the Trump team’s part, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and the Oversight panel have looked at issues like why Michael Flynn got a pass to work inside the Trump administration while holding onto secrets about his relationships with Turkish and Russian governments.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot