Democrats want Attorney General Barr to testify before Congress on Mueller report
Drew Angerer/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) –Democrats on Capitol Hill are preparing to bring Attorney General William Barr in front of Congress to testify about the results of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 presidential election, as they continue to push for the full public release of Mueller’s report.
They have raised questions about Mueller’s decision not to exonerate Trump on obstruction of justice, and Barr’s determination that a case wasn’t warranted, outlined in a letter to lawmakers on Sunday summarizing Mueller’s findings.
“His conclusions raise more questions than they answer,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-New York, said Sunday. “The American people are entitled to a full accounting of the president’s misconduct referenced by the special counsel.”
Nadler said he plans to ask Barr to testify before the House Judiciary Committee about his letter and Mueller’s investigation, and threatened to subpoena him and the Mueller report for public release. His staff has already been in touch with the Justice Department on setting up Barr’s testimony, according to a congressional aide.
Mueller, according to Barr’s summary, did not find that the Trump campaign officials or any associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 election. Barr also revealed Mueller’s conclusion on obstruction, that “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also doesn’t exonerate him,” and said the special counsel set out evidence on “both sides of the question.”
Trump and Republicans on Capitol Hill celebrated Mueller’s conspiracy conclusion, arguing that it vindicated the president.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, said in a statement Sunday that the findings meant the “case is closed” on the matters investigated by Mueller, a conclusion rejected by Democrats.
“This is just the beginning,” Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-California, a member of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, told ABC News Sunday afternoon. “It’s case closed criminally but not case closed as to whether the president committed a high crime or misdemeanor.”
Democrats vowed to continue their ongoing investigations into the Trump administration and pursuit of the Mueller report and underlying investigative materials.
They also raised questions about Barr’s conclusion on obstruction of justice, citing a memo he sent to the Justice Department before his confirmation arguing it would be “fatally misconceived” that Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey could be the basis of an obstruction of justice inquiry.
“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,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement.
Nadler, in a statement with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, said it was “unacceptable that, after Special Counsel Mueller spent 22 months meticulously uncovering this evidence, Attorney General Barr made a decision not to charge the President in under 48 hours,” and did so without interviewing Trump.
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