Washington: Hours after the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer said that there were “stark” differences between what Attorney General William Barr and Robert Mueller have said.
“Barr presented a conclusion that the President did not obstruct justice while Mueller’s report appears to undercut that finding,” said Pelosi and Schumer, in a joint statement.
According to CNN, several Democrats are also demanding the release of the unredacted version of the report.
“It’s clear AG Barr is acting as Trump’s (US President Donald) personal attorney, not America’s,” Pelosi wrote on Twitter, adding, “Our country demands and deserves full transparency. That is why we must hear directly from Mueller. #MuellerReport.”
Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, requested that Mueller testify to panel “no later than May 23”.
Adam Schiff, chairman Democratic House Intelligence Committee, said Mueller has been invited to testify in front of the committee. “After a two-year investigation, the public deserves the facts, not Attorney General Barr’s political spin,” he said.
The United States Department of Justice on Thursday released a redacted version of Mueller’s report.
The 22-month long investigation into the alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 Presidential election was unable to clear Trump in the matter, stating that the President’s action and intent “present difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred,” reported CNN.
Titled “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election”, the report further states that the Trump campaign knew they would benefit from Russia’s illegal actions to influence the election, but did not take criminal steps to help.
“After nearly two years of investigation, thousands of subpoenas, and hundreds of warrants and witness interviews, the special counsel confirmed that the Russian government sponsored efforts to illegally interfere with the 2016 presidential election, but did not find that the Trump campaign or other Americans colluded in those schemes,” Attorney General William Barr said in a press conference before the release of the report.
Mueller also made it clear that Congress can continue to investigate Trump.
The report further states that following media reports that the “Special Counsel’s office was investigating whether the President had obstructed justice,” Trump had directed his lawyer to remove Mueller.
“On June 17, 2017, the President called McGahn at home and directed him to call the Acting Attorney General and say that the Special Counsel had conflicts of interest and must be removed. McGahn did not carry out the direction, however, deciding that he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre,” the report read.
The report further stated that Trump’s efforts to influence the investigation were “mostly unsuccessful”, largely because “the person surrounding the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his request.”