Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction

A Democrat who serves on both the Judiciary and Oversight and Reform committees says special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions Trump: Democrats just want Mueller to testify for a 'do-over' Graham: Mueller investigation a 'political rectal exam' MORE’s report offers copious evidence that President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address MORE obstructed justice since taking office.

“There’s a substantial body of evidence that’s been compiled by the special counsel, which demonstrates obstruction of justice,” Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinPelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote House progressive: Pelosi 'has it right' on impeachment House Democrats press leaders to start Trump impeachment MORE (D-Md.) told Hill.TV’s Jamal Simmons during an interview that aired on Friday.

Raskin, who is also a former constitutional law professor, criticized Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' House Democrats must insist that Robert Mueller testifies publicly Why Mueller may be fighting a public hearing on Capitol Hill MORE’s handling of the report’s release, accusing Barr of injecting his “own opinion” supporting Trump.

“What kept him from pronouncing on the ultimate legal conclusion, which was the gap the attorney general pounced on in order to insert his own opinion was simply the fact that the Department of Justice takes the position that the president cannot be indicted while in office,” Raskin said, noting Mueller was “very careful” in the report to point out that the president can be indicted after leaving office.

The Maryland Democrat also took issue with Barr’s overall legal approach, calling it a “radical and extreme view.”

“The attorney general himself takes the position that the president under this unitary executive theory can never be guilty of obstructing justice — that’s a radical and extreme view, which the special counsel goes to great pains to debunk”, he said.

Raskin emphasized that nobody’s above the law — not even the president.

“It is the difference between a constitutional democracy and a monarch that the president is bound by the law and can’t fire prosecutors for investigating his friends or his family and can’t bribe jurors,” he told Hill.TV.

Questions surrounding whether Trump committed obstruction of justice have taken center stage following the release of the report.

The special counsel wrote that he lacked “confidence” to rule definitely that Trump did not criminally obstruct justice. His report also did not exonerate the president of such a charge.

The report went on to say that Mueller’s team face challenges in establishing whether Trump acted with “corrupt intent” when he fired FBI director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyFive takeaways from Barr's new powers in 'spying' probe Trump orders intel agencies to cooperate with Barr probe into 'spying' on 2016 campaign Attorney General Barr puts former intel bosses on notice MORE among other instances.

“The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred,” the report states.

—Tess Bonn