Sens. Murphy, Blumenthal call for release of Mueller report

New Britain Herald

NEW BRITAIN - Connecticut’s two senators said Monday morning that the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller should be made public beyond the summary letter Attorney General William Barr provided to Congress.

Their comments on the two-year probe were made following a forum on arming teachers with guns at New Britain High School.

On Friday, Mueller delivered his report on his investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 election and whether members of President Donald Trump’s campaign team sought to obstruct the investigations.

On Sunday, Barr sent a four-page letter to members of Congress stating in part, “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

Barr also wrote that Mueller said in the report, “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” Evidence was laid on either side of the question of whether obstruction occurred, but the report did not draw any conclusion on the matter, Barr wrote.

“The Barr summary of the Mueller report is totally inadequate,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal. “It is eloquently, but brazenly deceptive. It leads people to think that the president is exonerated to see the evidence and the facts.

“What America deserves is the Mueller report, not the Barr letter,” Blumenthal said. “There are many profoundly significant questions that the Barr letter fails to answer.”

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy questioned the objectivity of the letter by Barr, who was appointed by Trump.

“Why on earth would we trust an interpretation of the Mueller report by an attorney general who is handpicked by the president because of his hostility to the Mueller investigation?” Murphy said. “Barr needs to give Congress the entire report, he needs to make the entire thing public. No redactions. No edits. Show us what Mueller sent to the attorney general so we can make our own conclusions.”

Murphy went on to say, “If Barr won’t send the whole report to Congress, that tells you all you need to know. That tells you that he’s trying to hide something in that report.”

Both senators said if the report isn’t delivered to Congress then actions like subpoenas may be used to get the full report.

The evidence laid out in the report is not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction-of-justice offense beyond a reasonable doubt, Barr wrote.

Citing a federal rule, Barr also said his office is working to determine what can be made public in matters occurring before a grand jury.

Barr also said his office had to determine information that could impact ongoing matters that Mueller had referred to other offices.

“I hope that Barr is right,” Murphy said. “I hope that there is nothing in that report that is worthy for impeachment. That would be terrible for the country, if we had to go through an impeachment process. But it’s not for the attorney general…to decide if there’s anything in this report worthy of moving forward on impeachment proceedings.”

Trump said releasing the full report, “wouldn’t bother me at all.”

Reports from the Associated Press were used in this story.