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Pelosi and Schumer demand Mueller testify before Congress ‘as soon as possible’
Democrats are calling on special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before Congress. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanded that the special counsel testify “as soon as possible,” saying it is necessary to clear up the “lies” spread by Attorney General William Barr about Mueller’s investigation.
Hours before Barr released Mueller’s full, redacted report Thursday, Pelosi and Schumer released a joint statement accusing Barr of a pattern of dishonesty and called on Mueller to provide counter-vailing testimony.
Pelosi, Schumer call on Mueller
“Attorney General Barr’s regrettably partisan handling of the Mueller report, including his slanted March 24th summary letter, his irresponsible testimony before Congress last week, and his indefensible plan to spin the report in a press conference later this morning — hours before he allows the public or Congress to see it — have resulted in a crisis of confidence in his independence and impartiality,” Pelosi and Schumer wrote in a statement.
“We believe the only way to begin restoring public trust in the handling of the Special Counsel’s investigation is for Special Counsel Mueller himself to provide public testimony in the House and Senate as soon as possible,” they continued.
Barr under attack
The joint statement is the latest Democrat attack in a weeks-long smear campaign against the attorney general to frame Barr as a henchman of the president. Democrats have escalated attacks on Barr’s credibility ever since the attorney general released a four-page letter of Mueller’s investigation last month summarizing the special counsel’s findings. Democrats rejected the summary, which exonerated Trump of collusion and obstruction.
Barr’s statement last week that “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign prompted Democrats to accuse him of throwing a bone to Trump and validating “conspiracy theories” about a coup attempt against the president.
Democrats also objected to Barr’s decision to hold a Thursday press conference on the report before its public release, saying it would allow him to “spin” Mueller’s findings in a positive light.
Barr held the press conference anyway, where he faced hostile questions from journalists who challenged his authority to make a charging decision on obstruction, which they said should have been left up to Congress. Barr also shot down accusations that he was being too “generous” to the president by expressing his view that Trump was sincerely frustrated about being investigated for collusion that did not occur.
Democrats attack Barr, continue witch hunt
Following Barr’s press conference, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) sent Mueller a letter demanding that he testify by May 23. Barr has said he has no problem with Mueller testifying, and Barr himself will testify before the panel on May 2.
The release of Mueller’s full, redacted report on Thursday set off a storm of gas-lighting on the Left as Democrats rushed to claim the report vindicated their claims of criminality by the president. The report did not establish that the president engaged in criminal conduct, leaving the Democrats struggling to spin the report as an indictment of the president.
Many Democrats said that the report illustrates a pattern of unethical behavior by the president that was left out of Barr’s allegedly “misleading” summary of the investigation. Democrats are also contesting Barr’s assertion that Mueller did not intend to leave the obstruction decision up to Barr but in fact Congress.
Dems eye impeachment
Casting aside Mueller’s nearly two-year, exhaustive probe as a mere opening act to their own partisan investigations, Democrats are saying that Mueller’s report does not take impeachment off the table, particularly on the matter of obstruction.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called to initiate impeachment proceedings Friday, joining Democrats including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Nadler, and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), who said that impeachment could potentially be on the horizon.
Nadler subpoenaed Mueller’s full, unredacted report Friday with grand jury evidence. The redacted version concludes that Trump’s campaign did have “contacts” with Russia but did not commit conspiracy. It also lays out evidence of actions taken by Trump to interfere with the investigation that did not succeed.
Ultimately, Mueller declined to either charge or exonerate Trump of obstruction. The decision not to charge Trump is, legally speaking, an exoneration. Moreover, Barr pointed out that it would be difficult to prove Trump obstructed an investigation into a crime that Trump knew never happened.
However, it appears Democrats are not satisfied. They plan to pick apart Mueller’s full, unredacted report for whatever circumstantial evidence of wrongdoing they can find. Democrats rejected an offer Friday from Barr to read a report with fewer redactions — they insist on getting everything unredacted, including grand jury material.
It looks like nothing will ever be enough to satisfy these obstructionists. How much longer before they accuse Mueller of colluding with Russia?
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