House Democrats are not letting the conclusions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report impede them from further investigations of President Donald Trump. “We’re going to move forward with our investigations of obstruction of justice, abuses of power, corruption, to defend the rule of law, which is our job,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, said Sunday, according to Bloomberg.
Nadler insisted his wide-ranging probe, which he has already begun, is not a rehash of the Mueller report.
“It’s a broader mandate than the special prosecutor had,” he said.
Mueller was initially charged with investigating allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in 2016. As noted by Attorney General William Barr in a note to Congress, those allegations have been proven false.
“The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 US Presidential Election,” Barr said in a letter to Congress.
But Nadler is now digging into the gray area in the Mueller report — whether Trump obstructed justice.
Barr’s letter said the report “leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as ‘difficult issues’ of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction. The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.’”
Nadler said that he wants to put Barr in the hot seat to determine how Barr decided not to pursue an obstruction case against Trump.
“Attorney General Barr, who auditioned for his role with a memo saying that it was almost impossible for any president to commit obstruction, made a decision in under 48 hours,” Nadler said Sunday, according to CBS.
He referenced a 2018 memo Barr wrote that said “Mueller’s obstruction theory is fatally misconceived” and based “on a novel and insupportable reading of the law.”
Mueller said Barr needs to better explain himself.
“Given what Barr found on obstruction of justice, I think all of us should be very concerned about the even-handedness,” Nadler said Monday. “The American public needs to know how exactly did he conclude there is no obstruction of justice.”
Nadler issued a statement co-authored with fellow Democrats House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California and House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings of Maryland that gave Barr a zinger for not charging Trump.
“It is unacceptable that, after Special Counsel Mueller spent 22 months meticulously uncovering this evidence, Attorney General Barr made a decision not to charge the President in under 48 hours. The Attorney General did so without even interviewing the President. His unsolicited, open memorandum to the Department of Justice, suggesting that the obstruction investigation was ‘fatally misconceived,’ calls into question his objectivity on this point in particular,”the statement said.
The three Democrats maligned Barr’s impartiality.
“The only information the Congress and the American people have received regarding this investigation is the Attorney General’s own work product,” the chairmen said.
“The Special Counsel’s Report should be allowed to speak for itself, and Congress must have the opportunity to evaluate the underlying evidence,” the statement said.
It is unclear yet whether the full Mueller report will ever be released. Both Trump and his Democratic critics, however, have said it should be released in full.
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