WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is urging Democrats to accept the findings in Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and to move on from the 22-month investigation.
“They told everyone there had been a conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign. Yet, on this central question, the special counsel’s finding is clear: Case closed, case closed,” McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a floor speech Tuesday.
McConnell said that Democrats are still angry that Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump and that that is the motivation for continued interest in the probe as well as recent attacks against Attorney General William Barr.
Barr sent a four-page memo that summarized Mueller’s 400-plus page report to the chair and ranking members of the House and Senate Judiciary committees on March 24.
The Justice Department released a redacted version of the report on April 18. Earlier in the day Barr held a news conference to discuss Mueller’s findings.
The report said Mueller did not find any evidence of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials. Mueller did not make a determination as to whether obstruction of justice had occurred.
Republicans say the absence of evidence of collusion means the Russia probe should be put to bed.
But Democrats say more investigation is needed into whether Trump may have obstructed justice. They have called on Mueller to testify as early as May 15.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and DoJ officials today are expected to meet to discuss a potential deal for the committee to receive an un-redacted version of the report Nadler subpoenaed last month. Nadler has said the committee will meet Wednesday to consider holding Barr in contempt if the request is not met.
Last week Barr backed out of a scheduled hearing before the committee due to a dispute with Nadler over whether attorneys for the committee would be allowed to pose questions. Such a practice is generally reserved for impeachment hearings.