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Local members of Congress respond to Mueller report

Apr 18, 2019

Credit www.visitthecapitol.gov

Reaction from local congressional representatives was mixed after the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report about Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Before the report was released, Attorney General William Barr held a news conference. He said Mueller detailed 10 "episodes" involving actions by Trump that might have constituted obstruction of justice, but the Justice Department has concluded they did not amount violations of the law.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, said in a statement that Barr’s news conference was "propaganda."

“Attorney General Barr’s preemptive press conference today was a complete farce and an embarrassing display of propaganda on behalf of President Trump,” Gillibrand said. “Attorney General Barr works for the American people, not the president of the United States. Congress must get the full, unredacted Mueller report, and the American people deserve to know its full findings because nobody, especially not the president of the United States, is immune from accountability."

Rep. Tom Reed, a Republican, said now that the report has been released, it’s time "for our country to heal."

“Today the Mueller report was released, but the result remains the same -- no Russian collusion. This should be celebrated,” Reed said in a statement. “Now it is time for our country to heal because all politics, all the time, is tearing our country apart and hurting real people. We must end this culture of division and work together on policies to help people.”

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, in a joint statement with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said Mueller should provide public testimony in the House and Senate. The statement, released on Twitter, accused Barr of “regrettably partisan handling” of the report that has “resulted in a crisis of confidence in his independence and impartiality.”

“We believe the only way to begin restore public trust in the handling of the special counsel’s investigation is for Special Counsel Mueller himself to provide public testimony in the House and Senate as soon as possible,” they said in the joint statement. “The American people deserve to hear the truth.”

Democratic Rep. Joe Morelle also called for Mueller to testify before Congress.

“Unfortunately, this report includes significant redactions,” Morelle said in a statement, “and that is why it is necessary that Special Counsel Mueller provide public testimony to Congress on his findings. Congress and the American people deserve nothing less than full transparency.”

Rep. John Katko, a Republican, said Mueller is "roundly respected by everybody on both sides."

He also said Mueller should testify before Congress to clear up some things, but he’s confident in the special prosecutor’s conclusions.

"He obviously did a very thorough investigation," Katko said. "I’d be shocked if something in that report leads me to a different conclusion than the one he reached.”