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Dem accuses McConnell of 'collusion' for blocking Mueller report release

Rep. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierDemocratic Women's Caucus members split endorsements for House campaign chief Pentagon puts on show of force as questions circle on COVID-19 outbreak Candymakers meet virtually with lawmakers for annual fly-in, discuss Halloween safety MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHillicon Valley: GOP chairman says defense bill leaves out Section 230 repeal | Senate panel advances FCC nominee | Krebs says threats to election officials 'undermining democracy' On The Money: Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms | Pelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks | Poll: Most Americans support raising taxes on those making at least 0K Nearly one-third of US adults expect to lose employment income: Census Bureau MORE (R-Ky.) of colluding with President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE to prevent the public release of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerBarr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting MORE's report.

“I think there’s collusion there between the president and Mitch McConnell," Speier said on CNN while discussing McConnell's move to block a resolution calling for Mueller's report to be release publicly.

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Speier acknowledged that the president has said he would be open to a public release of the report. But she noted that Trump once vowed to release his tax returns.

"I mean, this is no different than everything else President Trump has done during his entire campaign and election," she said. "He also said he wanted to release his tax returns. We’re still waiting 2 1/2 years later for that tax return and he doesn’t talk about it anymore."

"He doesn’t talk about a rigged election after he won the election," Speier continued. "He is a man who will do whatever is convenient at the time, knowing that he can use it somehow later. And in this case I think he has a deal with Mitch McConnell."

Attorney General William Barr on Sunday sent Congress a four-page summary that said special counsel Robert Mueller did not uncover evidence to conclude the Trump campaign coordinated with the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential election.

It's not clear if Mueller's full report will ever be completely released, though Barr has pledged to be as transparent as possible. The report is likely to need redactions, and there are Department of Justice guidelines intended to protect people who have not been indicted from the release of information collected in an investigation of them.

But there is tremendous pressure on Justice to release the full report and the evidence it is based upon.

McConnell has twice blocked a nonbinding resolution demanding its public release.

There is particular interest on how Barr determined that no obstruction of justice charge should be made against Trump.

Barr's letter noted that Mueller did not reach a definitive conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice during the probe. But Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided Mueller did not provide sufficient evidence of obstruction of justice to pursue it. The letter states that the investigation does not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice. 

Speier's use of the word collusion is likely to get the attention of Republicans. 

Trump and many GOP lawmakers have argued that the summary shows that Democrats and the media promoted a false narrative about alleged collusion over the last two years between Trump and his campaign and Moscow.