Following the delivery of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited summary of his investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election to Attorney General William Barr last Friday, the Massachusetts congressional delegation was united in their calls for the full report to be publicly released.
And they’re not satisfied with the four-page letter Barr sent to Congress on Sunday summarizing Mueller’s conclusions.
Rep. Katherine Clark, the 5th District congresswoman and vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, said Monday on CNN that the attorney general’s letter “raises more questions than it answers.”
Barr, who was appointed by President Donald Trump and sworn in last month, wrote that Mueller found no evidence that the Republican president’s 2016 campaign‘‘conspired or coordinated’’ with Russia to influence the election, but was less conclusive about whether Trump illegally obstructed the subsequent investigation.
As the Associated Press reported Sunday, Mueller found ‘‘evidence on both sides of the question’’ and said that ‘‘while this report does not conclude the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.’’
According to Bay State Democrats, that’s enough reason to release the full report.
“Everyone needs to get a chance to read the Mueller Report,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who’s running for the Democratic nomination to challenge Trump in 2020, told reporters Sunday. “It needs to be made public, all of it.”
— The Hill (@thehill) March 24, 2019
In a tweet Sunday, Warren noted that the House recently voted unanimously in support of releasing the Mueller report.
Congress voted 420-0 to release the full Mueller report. Not a "summary" from his handpicked Attorney General. AG Barr, make the full report public. Immediately.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) March 24, 2019
“You should not write a book report from Cliff’s Notes,” Sen. Ed Markey echoed Sunday, “and Congress should not make any final determinations from one summary.”
You should not write a book report from Cliff’s Notes, and Congress should not make any final determinations from one summary. We need the full Mueller report and underlying documents. I want to read it all and so do the American people. Make it public.
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) March 24, 2019
Asked about previous claims that Trump colluded with Russia by other Democratic lawmakers, Clark acknowledged that the party has to be “careful” going forward.
“We have to acknowledge what this report says,” she told CNN. “There was no finding of coordination by anyone — not the president, nor his campaign — but we also have to look at this term collusion and what other very important factors that this investigation has highlighted. It has shown that there is corruption at the core of the Trump organization, and that is something that we need to look at and Americans need to be very aware of as we move forward.”
In addition to Clark, Reps. Richard Neal, Jim McGovern, Lori Trahan, Joe Kennedy III, and Bill Keating were among the House members that released statements calling for the report’s release Sunday afternoon. Rep. Seth Moulton told reporters Sunday that he also wanted the Mueller report to be made public, but noted that it wasn’t all about collusion and obstruction of justice.
House Democrats have launched separate investigations into Trump’s campaign, administration, business dealings, and his alleged role in hush-money payments to a porn star who said she had an affair with the now-president. Mueller’s investigation has also resulted in 34 indictments, several of which implicate former Trump campaign members.
“We don’t know all the details of the Mueller report,” Moulton said Sunday. “But we do know this: This investigation has already led to multiple criminal indictments for close associates of the president, and that is more than enough reason for Congress to continue its ongoing investigation into exactly what’s gone on.”
Rep. Ayanna Pressley said Sunday that the “American people deserve the truth.”
“A summary is insufficient,” Pressley told The Boston Globe in a statement. “What we have seen today does not exonerate the occupant of the White House from obstruction of justice nor abuse of power. My colleagues, under the leadership of our committee chairs, will continue to do our due diligence to make sure that this White House is held accountable.”
Rep. Stephen Lynch also said he’s “eager to see” the full report and its underlying documents. In an interview Monday with Boston Herald Radio, Lynch indicated that he was satisfied by Mueller’s opinion that “there’s nothing there that would lead to charges” on the questions of collusion and obstruction of justice, the latter of which he said was a “much softer assertion.”
“I would like Mueller to testify, as well as the attorney general,” said the South Boston Democrat, adding he was curious why Mueller didn’t conduct an interview with Trump during his investigation.
However, some seemed to relish the opportunity to return the focus on the Democratic policy agenda — or as Clark framed it in her interview Monday, the agenda of “the American people.”
“We’re working every day to put their agenda back on the front-burner in Congress and make sure we’re still working on health care and infrastructure and protecting voting rights in this country,” she said.
Warren also tweeted a clip Monday of her presidential campaign kickoff speech last month, arguing that the issues the country faces predate Trump.
“The man in the White House is not the cause of what’s broken, he’s just the latest — and most extreme — symptom of what’s gone wrong in America,” she said. “A product of a rigged system that props up the rich and the powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else. And so, once he’s gone, we can’t pretend that all of this never happened.”