House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer took to Twitter on Thursday to call on special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before Congress regarding his report into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The report was released to the public, with redactions, by the Department of Justice (DOJ) earlier on Thursday morning.
Pelosi suggests that the actions of Attorney General William Barr, who has been criticized by Democrats for his handling of the Mueller report, confirm that the Trump administration tried to control public perception of the report. She highlights that Barr acknowledged that Trump's team was able to see the report prior to its public release, and called on Mueller to testify before Congress.
"It's more urgent than ever that Special Counsel Mueller testify before Congress."Schumer echoed Pelosi's sentiments, calling Barr's handling of the report a partisan effort. He pointed to Barr's testimony, summary letter, and Thursday morning press conference as examples of the attorney general attempting to spin the results.
Schumer added that Barr's actions hurt public confidence in his ability to remain impartial and independent, and suggested that Mueller's testimony is the only way to restore this confidence.Barr's Thursday morning press conference took place before the release of the Mueller report, which occurred shortly after. During the meeting, he outlined the results of the report, stating that Volume I of Mueller's report covers the issue of whether President Donald Trump and his campaign coordinated or conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election. The Mueller report could not prove any substantial collusion between Russian actors and Trump, or his campaign staff.
As The Inquisitr reported, Barr continued to say that Mueller's team found evidence that Russia hacked officials connected to the Democratic Party and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton -- but did not find that the Trump campaign committed a conspiracy to violate U.S. law via connections to Russia.
In addition, Barr said that the report did not find enough evidence for obstruction. Barr added that he disagreed with some of Mueller's legal theories.Now that the report is released, The National Post reports that the investigation identified 10 instances of possible obstruction by President Donald Trump. However, the report states that in these cases, Mueller could not determine that Trump had committed a crime — but also could not determine that he hadn't.
One such case of potential obstruction is when Trump allegedly told then-White House counsel Don McGahn to prevent Attorney General Jeff Sessions from recusing himself from the Russia investigation. Not only that, but Trump reportedly contacted then-FBI Director James Comey and tried to convince him to publicly take his side against suggestions that he was connected to the Russian election interference effort.