Senior House Democrat: Mueller report the beginning, not the end | News | DW | 18.04.2019
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Senior House Democrat: Mueller report the beginning, not the end

Representative Jerrold Nadler has called the report a roadmap for further congressional investigations. He also accused Attorney General William Barr of undermining the Department of Justice to protect the president.

At a Thursday afternoon press conference, Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, directly attacked Attorney General William Barr's assessment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

Read more: Mueller report finds 'no collusion by any American,' says William Barr

Nadler said, "Attorney General Barr has shown an unsettling willingness to undermine his own department in order to protect the president," adding that Barr had been "disingenuous and misleading in saying the president has been cleared of wrongdoing."

Those accusations stand in stark contrast to Barr's morning press conference in which he forcefully stated that President Trump and his team had not colluded with Russia during the election, nor had Trump or his team obstructed justice thereafter.

The president and his supporters called Barr's summary of the Mueller report a "total exoneration." Kevin McCarthy, leader of the House Republicans and a supporter of the president, released a tweet claiming the report showed nothing incriminating, saying, "It is time to move on."

Right there in black and white

Yet the report itself immediately raised red flags when it was made public in a heavily redacted form after Barr's press conference. Democrats, who have long been leery of Barr's views on the scope of executive power and his feelings about the Special Counsel report, immediately accused the attorney general of ignoring glaring examples of Trump's intent to obstruct the investigation.

Nadler said "We clearly cannot believe what Attorney General Barr tells us." He said that, even in its redacted form, the Mueller report showed "disturbing evidence that President Trump engaged in obstruction of justice and other misconduct."

Nadler voiced his opinion that Mueller intended the report as a "roadmap" for further congressional investigations, saying, "The responsibility now falls to Congress to hold the president accountable for his actions."

Read more: Opinion: Mueller report gives no respite for Donald Trump

Watch video 00:28

Barr: No 'corrupt intent to obstruct' investigation

Depends on how you read it

Although the Mueller report cited 10 specific instances in which the president may have obstructed the investigation, it stopped short of saying that he had in fact done so. Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded he had not, but Democrats begged to differ.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, for instance, released a tweet saying that, "Mueller's report appears to undercut that finding."

Attorney General Barr will appear before Nadler's committee on May 2, and Nadler also submitted a formal request for Mueller to appear before May 23. Thus, the Mueller report may not be the end of the president's troubles, but rather a prelude of more to come.

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