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Dem accuses McConnell of ‘collusion’ for blocking Mueller report release

Camille Fine

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) on Wednesday accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) of colluding with President Trump to prevent the public release of special counsel Robert Mueller’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.

{mosads}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.

Tags Collusion Donald Trump Jackie Speier Mitch McConnell Mueller report Robert Mueller Rod Rosenstein Special Counsel investigation William Barr

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