2020 Dems call on Mueller to testify about redacted report

2020 Dems call on Mueller to testify about redacted report
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Democratic presidential hopefuls called for special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE to testify before Congress after the Justice Department released a redacted version of the report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The demands started coming minutes after Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrTrump sides with religious leaders in fight against governors Senate Democrats call on Trump administration to let Planned Parenthood centers keep PPP loans Senate Republicans call on DOJ to investigate Planned Parenthood loans MORE held a news conference earlier on Thursday in which he defended President TrumpDonald John TrumpMulvaney: 'We've overreacted a little bit' to coronavirus Former CBS News president: Most major cable news outlets 'unrelentingly liberal' in 'fear and loathing' of Trump An old man like me should be made more vulnerable to death by COVID-19 MORE as well as his own determination that the president did not obstruct justice based on his reading of the Mueller report.

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Four contenders, Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharPoll: Biden leads Trump by 5 points in Minnesota The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US death toll nears 100,000 as country grapples with reopening It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (D-Minn.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTrump retweets personal attacks on Clinton, Pelosi, Abrams It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Coal company sues EPA over power plant pollution regulation | Automakers fight effort to freeze fuel efficiency standards | EPA watchdog may probe agency's response to California water issues MORE (D-Calif.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerStakes high for Collins in coronavirus relief standoff It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Booker introduces bill to create 'DemocracyCorps' for elections MORE (D-N.J.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandIt's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Hillicon Valley: Uber to lay off thousands of employees | Facebook content moderation board announces members | Lawmakers introduce bill to cut down online child exploitation Democrats introduce legislation to protect children from online exploitation MORE (D-N.Y.), quickly issued calls for Mueller’s testimony.

Only the person that conducted the investigation, they argued, could provide answers to the questions surrounding Russia’s role in the 2016 election and Trump’s conduct toward the special counsel probe.

“Barr is acting more like Trump’s defense attorney than the nation's Attorney General. His press conference was a stunt, filled with political spin and propaganda,” Harris wrote on Twitter.

“Americans deserve the unvarnished truth. We need Special Counsel Mueller to testify publicly in Congress.” 

Klobuchar released a video statement in which she insisted that Mueller should go before the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

“We want to hear from Director Mueller himself,” she said. “He should be able to give us his own views of what happened here so we can answer questions. He’s the one that conducted this major investigation and he’s the one — not Attorney General Barr — that should answer the questions of America.”

Booker echoed that call, asserting that Congress and the American people “need to hear directly from the person who authored the report.” 

Gillibrand demanded not only that Mueller testify before Congress, but that lawmakers hold public hearings with multiple witnesses. She also said that members of Congress should be allowed to see an unredacted version of the special counsel’s report.

“Now that the Mueller report is public, the American people deserve full transparency and accountability,” Gillibrand tweeted. “The Senate should hold public hearings on the investigation with major witnesses and Mueller should testify to his findings. And give Congress the full, unredacted report.” 

The field of presidential contenders had earlier denounced Barr for holding a news conference before the Mueller report was released, seeing it as an attempt to downplay findings that could be viewed as damaging or embarrassing to Trump and put a partisan spin on a report ahead of its publication.

The release of Mueller’s report on Thursday came weeks after the special counsel concluded his nearly two-year investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election.

Barr's four-page summary of the investigation’s principle findings released last month said that Mueller’s team was unable to uncover evidence of coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

It also noted that the special counsel could not clear the president on the question of whether he obstructed justice. Ultimately, Barr made the determination not to pursue such a case.

Barr's decision, as well as his news conference ahead of the redacted report’s release on Thursday morning, has fueled criticism by Democrats that the nation’s top law enforcement official has politicized a national security probe.

“AG Barr should work to protect the interests of the people, not the President,” John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperThe 10 Senate seats most likely to flip OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Coal company sues EPA over power plant pollution regulation | Automakers fight effort to freeze fuel efficiency standards | EPA watchdog may probe agency's response to California water issues McConnell gives two vulnerable senators a boost with vote on outdoor recreation bill MORE, the former Colorado governor and a 2020 presidential contender, wrote on Twitter. “It's clear from this morning's press conference where his allegiances lie. The American people deserve answers.” 

“The Attorney General should be the nation’s top law enforcement officer – not a spokesman for the president,” Washington state Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeWashington state bishops respond to Trump's push to reopen churches: 'We will wait' Trump takes pandemic fight to Michigan FEMA coronavirus supplies arrive mislabeled, slowing down state use: report MORE, another Democratic hopeful, tweeted. “This press conference was a disgrace.”

Another 2020 candidate, Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellGrenell says intelligence community working to declassify Flynn-Kislyak transcripts The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump visits a ventilator plant in a battleground state Swalwell launching voter registration push MORE (D-Calif.), went even further in his criticism of Barr, calling on the attorney general to step down in the wake of the Thursday news conference. 

“He made a show of allegiance to the President over the American people by declaring ‘no collusion’ and excusing the President on the basis of his emotional state,” Swalwell said in a statement. “He has proved that he’s an embedded Trump ally who puts this President’s political future above of the rule of law. That makes him unfit to serve. He must resign.”