Washington: US Attorney General William Barr is “not a neutral observer,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, after Barr revealed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not find either US President Donald Trump or his associates guilty of conspiring with the Russians to influence the 2016 Presidential elections.
Pelosi, along with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, further demanded the release of Mueller’s complete report regarding Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential elections.
“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,” the joint statement released by the Democratic leaders outlined.
“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,” the leaders said, slamming Barr.
They also dismissed Trump’s claim of being completely exonerated.
“And most obviously, for the President to say he is completely exonerated directly contradicts the words of Mr Mueller and is not to be taken with any degree of credibility,” Pelosi and Schumer said.
“Congress requires the full report and the underlying documents so that the Committees can proceed with their independent work, including oversight and legislating to address any issues the Mueller report may raise. The American people have a right to know,” they lastly highlighted.
This comes after Barr submitted his principal conclusions from Mueller’s 22-month long investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 elections, which saw Trump take charge as President.
While Mueller has stated that Trump and his associates did not conspire with the Russians, he has not completely exonerated the US President. The Special Counsel did not “make a traditional prosecutorial judgment” in his report, according to Barr.
“The Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime,” Barr’s summary stated.
Announcing that the Department of Justice will not be pursuing a case against Trump, Barr said: “After reviewing the Special Counsel’s final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offence.”
While the US President and top Republican leaders have welcomed Barr’s summary of the Mueller report, several Democratic leaders, including Pelosi, have alleged discrepancies and called for transparency.
In fact, the Chairman of the US House Committee on the Judiciary, Jerrold Nadler, announced that he would be calling Barr to testify in front of the committee in the “near future”.
“In light of the very concerning discrepancies and final decision making at the Justice Department following the Special Counsel report, where Mueller did not exonerate the President, we will be calling Attorney General Barr in to testify before @HouseJudiciary in the near future,” he tweeted.
The 22-month long Mueller investigation – the final report of which was submitted to Barr on Friday – interviewed about 500 witnesses and obtained more than 3,500 subpoenas and warrants of various types. 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence were also made as part of the massive investigations.
While there are no further indictments, the investigation saw charges being filed against 37 defendants, seven guilty pleas and one conviction.
Meanwhile, Barr has said that process to release further information from Mueller’s report has begun at the Department of Justice. He also added that Special Counsel Mueller would be involved in the scrubbing of the report for releasing it to the public.