Parties weigh next steps after Mueller report
by Harvest Prude
Posted 3/26/19, 11:51 am
WASHINGTON—Democrats are still coming to terms with the findings (or lack thereof) of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. House Democrats have upped their calls for Attorney General William Barr to release the full Mueller report, as well as its underlying evidence, by April 2.
The leaders of six House committees wrote to Barr on Monday, calling his initial four-page summary of the investigation “not sufficient,” adding that Congress “must be permitted to make an independent assessment of the evidence regarding obstruction of justice.” Mueller did not reach a conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey or otherwise, but Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Mueller’s report did not contain enough evidence to pursue obstruction charges against the president. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said he would call Barr to testify before the committee on his decision soon.
President Donald Trump said the release of the full Mueller report “wouldn’t bother me at all,” but he also lambasted the investigation, saying, “We can never let this happen to another president again.”
At a news conference Monday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he plans to investigate “the other side of the story,” including whether political bias against Trump motivated the Justice Department’s actions or influenced the origins of the Russia investigation. He also said he would look into the FBI’s use of an anti-Trump dossier compiled by British spy Christopher Steele and whether there was any Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse along the way. “And if I were you, Mr. President, I would focus on what’s next for the country,” Graham advised.
Democratic leadership has tried to shift the public’s focus to legislation, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announcing she will hold a news conference Tuesday on healthcare. But Mueller’s report has not silenced Trump’s loudest critics on Capitol Hill. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., said she plans to introduce a resolution calling for the Judiciary Committee to investigate if there are grounds to impeach the president. On Monday, her office circulated a letter asking for co-sponsors for the resolution, Politico reported.
Read more from The Sift Sign up for The Sift email
Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.