Dynamic duo Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) issued a terse statement Monday morning refusing to acknowledge that a letter released yesterday by Attorney General William Barr, summarizing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, represents Mueller’s final conclusions fairly and accurately.
In a public statement, the pair claimed that they cannot take Barr’s summary at face value, according to the Hill, and argued that Barr’s statement “raised further questions” about President Donald Trump’s role in a now-debunked conspiracy to alter the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
“Attorney General Barr’s letter raises as many questions as it answers,” they said in their joint statement. “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.”
Barr, of course, discusses the possibility of making the report public in the letter issued Sunday afternoon, noting that while the report’s contents are protected as confidential by federal law, he and deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would be willing to work with Congress to make segments of the report available for consumption — within reason.
Pelosi and Schumer, of course, were already demanding the full release of Mueller’s report before Barr’s summary of Muller’s conclusions was delivered to Congress. In both a statement and a phone call on Saturday, both Democratic leaders expressed a desire to see the full report, and suggested that no Democrats would take classified or confidential briefings on the report’s contents.
At this point, though, Pelosi and Schumer’s rhetoric seems more like a stalling tactic than true concern for Mueller’s independence.
In Barr’s Sunday letter, he absolved the president — as well as the president’s campaign team and associated Americans — of participation in any planned collusion with Russian officials to alter the outcome of the 2016 election, though both Mueller and Barr admitted that the Russians appeared to make overtures to the Trump campaign, offering their help to “fix” a win.
The findings put to rest nearly two years of speculation on the part of Democrats, media, and progressive activists, who bought the Hillary Clinton campaign’s post-election explanation for a Democratic loss — that Trump’s campaign worked hand-in-hand with the Russians to subvert the Electoral College.
Left with little to investigate on that front, Democrats seized on the second part of Barr’s letter, alleging that Mueller found evidence that the president may have attempted to obstruct the Special Counsel’s investigation, but that such evidence was not sufficient to charge the president with a crime. Mueller’s report, according to the letter, outlined the president’s efforts, but left prosecution to both Barr and his deputy Rosenstein.
Both agreed that, after reviewing the report, the DOJ wouldn’t pursue charges.
Now Pelosi and Schumer want to know why. And they suspect a rat.
“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 pair concluded.
Barr did write, in June of last year when he was not employed by the DOJ, that he felt Mueller’s investigation was “fatally misconceived.” That opinion, of course, did not motivate Barr to put an early end to Mueller’s inquiry, or to make a determination whether to prosecute on his own.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who has been adamant about continuing Mueller’s work with endless House investigations into the president’s business dealings, contacts with Russian officials, and family history, has already said that, with Pelosi’s blessing, he will also investigate Barr and Mueller, and may call Mueller to testify in front of the House over whether he was improperly influenced while compiling his report.