WASHINGTON, DC —Members of Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation called for the release ofthe full report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller early this week after Attorney General Barr’s summary concluded noevidence of collusion with Russian officials’ interference in the 2016 election
Mueller completed his reportthis weekend, and Barr, a Trump appointee skepticalof challenges to Presidential power who has nonetheless pledged to releaseas much information on the report as possible, released a four-page summarySunday outlining Mueller’s findings that Trump and his associates did notcooperate in Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“…the Special Counsel did notfind that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired orcoordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multipleoffers from the Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign,”Barr wrote in his summary of Mueller’s report.
Mueller, Barr wrote, left thequestion of whether Trump’s conduct during the investigation could beconsidered obstruction open, allegedly quoting from Mueller’s report, “Whilethis report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it alsodoes not exonerate him.”
That, Barr wrote, left thedecision as to whether Trump had committed obstruction of justice up to him.
Regarding the possibilitythat the president committed an obstruction of justice, Barr wrote that hisdetermination did not consider or depend on the Justice Department principle thata sitting president cannot be indicted.
Rather, Barr, wrote, theabsence of evidence of collusion with Russian officials, “bears upon thePresident’s intent with respect to obstruction.”
“In cataloguing thePresident’s actions, many of which took place in public view, the reportidentifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct,had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corruptintent, each of which, under the Departments principles of federal prosecutionguiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubtto establish an obstruction of justice offense,” Barr wrote.
Barr also wrote that he wouldcontinue reviewing Mueller’s report in an effort to release as much furtherdetail as legally possible.
Late Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-KY) blocked a Senate resolution to make the Mueller report public,preventing a vote. A similar measure passed the House 420-0.
“Attorney General Barr’ssummary further underscores why Special Counsel Mueller’s report must bereleased to the public. The American people deserve to see the investigation’scomplete findings,” said Congressman Jim Langevin, (D-RI) on his Facebook pageMonday.
“Mr. Mueller’s investigationgoes to the heart of our democracy, and the American people deserve nothingless than full transparency,” Langevin said in a statement following Barr’sletter to Congress summarizing the report.
“The Special Counsel has filedhis report. Now the American people need to see the entire report and Iurge the Attorney General to release the entire document and supportingevidence without delay. If any part needs to be held back for nationalsecurity reasons, that information and underlying evidence should be madeavailable in a classified setting,” stated Sen. Jack Reed, (D-RI), SenatorReed, the Ranking Member of theArmed Services Committee and anex officiomember of theIntelligence Committee.
“PresidentTrump’s Attorney General claims the evidence is not clear enough to charge thePresident, but notes “it also does not exonerate him.” Let the Americanpeople see the report and decide.
“Filing thisreport does not end this process, as we know from every prior Special Counselinvestigation. The crucial next step is Congress fulfilling itsconstitutional oversight duty. Mr. Mueller and others involved in thereport should testify before Congress in open setting,” Reed wrote.
“Now, Attorney General Barrought to make good on the commitments to transparency he made to us over thecourse of his confirmation,” said US Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, (D-RI),
“That means outlining aclear, expeditious process for reviewing the report, transmitting it toCongress, and preserving the work product and records of the specialcounsel. This is no time for cover-ups.”
“TheSpecial Counsel did not exonerate the President. In fact, according to theAttorney General’s letter, he described a pattern of evidence suggesting thePresident engaged in obstruction of justice,” said Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI), “The Attorney Generalneeds to make this evidence available to Congress immediately, along with theentirety of the Mueller report, so we can decide what steps to take next.”