Members of the region’s congressional delegation said Thursday that many questions remain after the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report on the Russia investigation. They urged that the full report be given to Congress and that Mueller be called to testify.
U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., an ex-officio member of the Intelligence Committee, said it was clear that Russia attacked American democracy in 2016. “What’s even more disturbing is today’s confirmation that these actions were embraced and encouraged by President Trump.” He said the report shows that Trump has been “the beneficiary of a foreign adversary’s efforts and assistance, someone who puts himself above the law, and a bully who sought to thwart this investigation.”
Reed said the report confirms that the investigation “was not a witch hunt, and it did not originate because of a deep-state conspiracy or the Steele dossier.”
Since Attorney General William Barr had “clearly misrepresented and mischaracterized the Special Counsel’s report”, the senator added, “It is imperative that Mr. Mueller and his team brief Congress directly on their findings and testify in a public setting. Congress must fulfill its constitutional oversight duty and do so in a timely manner.”
“Indeed, the Special Counsel’s statement that ‘the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts’ should be seen as a singularly damning statement by every American,” Reed’s statement said.
U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., agreed that Mueller should testify before the House and Senate as soon as possible, saying that it was essential that the American people have an opportunity “to hear the special counsel discuss his findings without further spin or interpretation from the attorney General.”
U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., who chairs the Democratic Party Policy and Communications Committee, said it was “already evident to me that this is a damning document that outlines a series of misdeeds conducted by the president and his associates. In light of his misleading attempt to spin the report this morning, it’s clear that the only reason Attorney General Barr has for keeping the full report from Congress is to protect the president.”
Cicilline added that “No one is above the law. The American people deserve to know whether their president committed wrongdoing. This report makes clear that Congress has a responsibility to answer that question.”
U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., said that “the release of even the redacted version today makes clear that his ‘initial summary’ of Special Counsel Mueller’s findings was misleading at best — and willfully distorted at worst.”
“Congress and the American people need Special Counsel Mueller to come and testify on his report. This is clearly the only way that we will be able to determine Mueller’s true analysis of the report, its findings, and its conclusions,” Courtney said.