‘Case closed': Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declares Robert Mueller’s Russia probe over – USA TODAY
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared that the investigation into Russian interference is over, despite Democrats wanting more information.
WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared Tuesday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference is over, despite House Democrats pursuing more information.
“Case closed,” McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor about Mueller’s key finding that nobody from President Donald Trump’s campaign conspired with Russians to influence the election.
McConnell compared Democratic complaints over the need to continue the 22-month investigation to the movie “Groundhog Day,” where the protagonist repeats the same day repetitively. He also called efforts for continued investigation “unhinged partisanship” that would keep the country divided.
“This investigation went on for two years,” McConnell said. “It’s finally over.”
But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Republicans dragged their feet on efforts to enhance election security and instead sought to discourage investigations of Trump because of fears about where they would lead.
“What we have here is a concerted effort to circle the wagons, to protect the president from accountability, to whitewash his reprehensible conduct by simply declaring it irrelevant,” Schumer said.
The dueling speeches came on the same day staffers from the House Judiciary Committee are meeting with Justice Department officials about whether more information from Mueller’s 448-page report can be released publicly.
Attorney General William Barr redacted portions of the report that dealt with grand-jury evidence, information from ongoing cases, intelligence information and information that might infringe on the privacy of people not charged. He defended his handling of the report at the Senate Judiciary Committee last Wednesday.
But House Democrats including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have insisted that Congress receive the full report. Democrats contend the report described potential conspiracy between Trump’s campaign and Russia, even though Mueller filed no charges in that area. They also say the numerous episodes of potential obstruction of justice must be explored after Mueller reached no decision on obstruction charges.
“These are not trivial or political questions – they go to the wellspring of our democracy,” Pelosi tweeted Tuesday. “On every issue that matters in people’s lives, the administration and a complicit Republican Senate are waging an unprecedented, unwarranted, unconstitutional and utterly dangerous campaign of stonewalling.”
Barr decided that the evidence Mueller collected didn’t merit obstruction charges. Trump has said the report completely exonerated him.
If lawmakers and department officials can’t reach a compromise, the Judiciary Committee scheduled a Wednesday vote on whether to hold Barr in contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena for the entire report.
More on Congress and special counsel Robert Mueller’s report:
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