Merkley Reaction to AG Barr’s Inappropriate Conduct and Mueller Findings
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement regarding Attorney General William Barr’s press conference and the release of the Mueller report:
“Now that we have seen the contents of the Mueller report, it is abundantly clear that Attorney General Barr’s actions several weeks ago and this morning were shockingly inappropriate and an abuse of his office. Barr misled the American people about the substance of this report while reciting the President’s preferred spin and favorite talking points. The Attorney General is supposed to act as the people’s lawyer, not the President’s PR lackey. It’s clear that Barr took President Trump’s admonition to his predecessor that ‘you were supposed to protect me’ as a job description, and this creates an incredibly dangerous precedent for the future.
“We are all still making our way through the report, but it’s already clear that it paints a very detailed and disturbing portrait of a President utterly obsessed with executing a massive cover-up and preventing the truth from coming out. There was a sophisticated attack on American democracy by a hostile superpower; extensive contacts between Trump’s people and the Russians; and a determined, if bumbling, effort to cover their tracks that included repeated unethical requests and actions by the President. Why? Why was Donald Trump so terrified that people might learn the truth? As Robert Mueller noted, there are many unanswered questions here that Congress can and should look into.”
Wyden Statement on the Special Counsel Report
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement on the special counsel report:
“The special counsel’s report provides a detailed look at Russia’s attack on our democracy and the Trump campaign’s eager embrace of a foreign adversary’s assistance, as well as the repeated lies of Trump operatives about those communications. There is no question the president and his campaign put their self-interest above the national interest over and over again.
“Furthermore, the report details the extraordinary lengths Donald Trump went to obstruct justice – firing the FBI director, dictating false statements about meeting Russians and repeatedly encouraging his underlings to lie to investigators. The president worked tirelessly to undermine a legitimate investigation and prevent the truth from coming out. The special counsel emphasized the endless torrent of lies made the investigation far more difficult, and he has clearly left it to Congress to fulfill its Constitutional duty to act on the president’s assault on the rule of law. Congress has a constitutional responsibility to thoroughly investigate and provide the full story to the American people.
“Attorney General Barr, much like Trump, has shown himself to be an enthusiastic liar, willing to make clearly false statements about the special counsel’s report less than an hour before it was released. His track record of defending the president at all costs makes it essential that every member of Congress see the unredacted report, along with all underlying materials, so members and staff can review them, get the full story and provide a check on abuse of the redaction process.
“Finally, the Senate Intelligence Committee must thoroughly investigate counterintelligence, including Donald Trump’s financial entanglements with the Russians, issues that were outside the scope of the special counsel’s inquiry. Given evidence from the Mueller report, the committee must take steps to ensure its investigations do not leak to the executive branch.”