Pelosi, Schumer, other top Dems question impartiality of Barr letter about Mueller report
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a blistering statement Sunday that Attorney General William Barr is “not a neutral observer,” urging the full release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report after Barr penned a letter summarizing Mueller's findings.
Pelosi, D-Calif., and Schumer, D-N.Y., said Barr’s letter to Congress “raises as many questions as it answers.”
In their joint statement, the leaders said Barr’s past “bias” against the special counsel's inquiry showed he was “not in a position to make objective determinations.”
They added, “the fact that 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.”
Barr wrote that Mueller did not establish evidence that President Trump's team or any associates of the Trump campaign had conspired with Russia to sway the 2016 election -- “despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.” He also wrote that on obstruction-of-justice claims, “The Special Counsel states that 'while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.'”
Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., also released a statement dovetailing with top Democratic leadership: “Attorney General Barr has the authority to make the full Mueller findings public with minimal redactions. He must do so as quickly as possible. The ‘summary’ document he provided today creates more questions than it answers, particularly with respect to obstruction of justice by the President.”
He added: “The American people – who for two years have waited patiently for the Mueller investigation to conclude – deserve the full truth in Special Counsel Mueller’s own words.”
The heads of three of the House’s most influential committees also said the full report on Russian election interference and Trump must be made public.
Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y. and Elijah Cummings, D-Md. – the chairs respectively of the House Intelligence, Judiciary and Oversight Committees – issued a joint statement Sunday, noting: “We … call for Attorney General Barr to come forward to testify before the House Judiciary Committee without delay. Far from the ‘total exoneration’ claimed by the President, the Mueller report expressly does not exonerate the President. Instead, it ‘sets out evidence on both sides of the question’ of obstruction—including the evidence that President Trump attempted to obstruct justice.”
They added: "These shortcomings in today’s letter are the very reason our nation has a system of separation of powers. We cannot simply rely on what may be a partisan interpretation of facts uncovered during the course of a 22-month review of possible wrongdoing by the President. The American people deserve to see the facts and judge the President’s actions for themselves.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.