The Democrats are up in arms after the Department of Justice released special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Thursday and Attorney General William P. Barr’s misleading conclusion about the report.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement that Barr presented a conclusion that the president did not obstruct justice but special counsel Mueller’s report cites several instances of presidential action that appear to undercut that finding.
“Barr led us to believe that the Office of Legal Counsel opinion did not play a significant role in Mueller’s refusal to make a decision on obstruction. In fact, the report shows the opinion played a major role, and probably the decisive role in Mueller’s decision not to reach a conclusion,” the statement asserted.
The statement adds that the special counsel’s own words directly and dramatically undercut Barr’s claim that the president fully cooperated with the special counsel’s investigation. As the report shows, the president in fact did the opposite – from firing the FBI Director, to pressuring senior officials to lie, to refusing to testify, to attempting to fire the special counsel himself, according to the statement.
The Democrats say that the special counsel’s report confirms that members of the Trump campaign were aware of Russian attempts to interfere with the election, but instead of reporting this to the federal authorities, like any patriotic American would have done, the Trump campaign and President Trump himself openly encouraged it for the purposes of winning a presidential election.
“Attorney General Barr omitted this from all of his public statements regarding the report which should shake any patriotic American to the core,” the statement said.
For these reasons, Democrats suggest, it is imperative that the rest of the report and the underlying documents be made available to Congress and that special counsel Mueller testify before both chambers as soon as possible.
It is stated that Barr presented a disrespectfully late and selectively redacted version of Special Counsel Mueller’s report. This report, according to Democrats, includes several alarming findings, including that “the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.”
It also explicitly states that the President’s campaign took actions with an expectation that “it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.”
In his summary letter and press conference, Attorney General Barr presented a conclusion that the President did not obstruct justice. The Mueller report appears to directly undercut that claim, Democrats argue.
“Our Chairmen are studying the report, and have released a joint statement. The Caucus is scheduling a conference call for Monday to discuss this grave matter,” the statement informed.
The Mueller report states, “We concluded Congress has authority to prohibit a president’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice,” which “accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.” Congress said it will not be silent.
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