Dem lawmaker on Barr summary: 'Smell of a whitewash and a cover-up is getting thicker and thicker'

Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinDem committees win new powers to investigate Trump Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump Congress and contempt: What you need to know MORE (D-Md.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP nervous that border wall fight could prompt year-end shutdown GOP nervous that border wall fight could prompt year-end shutdown Jon Stewart slams McConnell over 9/11 victim fund MORE (R-Ky.) and Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrAnticipation builds for final Supreme Court rulings Anticipation builds for final Supreme Court rulings Trump's Justice Department should change its tune on antitrust policy MORE on Thursday over delays in releasing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE’s final report. 

Raskin, during an appearance on CNN's "New Day," hammered McConnell for twice blocking Senate resolutions that called for Mueller’s full conclusions into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and obstruction of justice to be made available to the public. The Maryland Democrat also lamented that Barr appears set to miss an April 2 deadline declared by six House committee chairpersons for the Justice Department to give Congress Mueller’s report. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“They were able to come to a conclusion about the ultimate legal question raised about whether there was obstruction of justice overnight and yet they’re not able to actually just turn over the physical report to us within one week, and that’s just not acceptable,” Raskin said. 

“As the week goes on it just seems like the smell of a whitewash and a cover-up is getting thicker and thicker. It’s almost as if they wanted to establish a certain imprint in the public consciousness about what this is and now they’re going to try to drag out the process for many weeks of releasing the report, and it’s just not an acceptable way for the Department of Justice to be proceeding here and it seems to be a complete thwarting of the whole design of having a special counsel.” 

Barr wrote in a four-page letter to Congress last weekend that Mueller had finished his report and did not conclude that either President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment MORE or his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election. He added that the special counsel stopped short of exonerating the president on allegations of obstruction of justice.

Barr also said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinTrump: I didn't fire Mueller since firings 'didn't work out too well' for Nixon Trump: I didn't fire Mueller since firings 'didn't work out too well' for Nixon GOP group urges Republicans to speak out on obstruction claims against Trump in new ad MORE decided, after reviewing Mueller’s evidence, not to pursue obstruction of justice.

Democrats have seized on Mueller’s nondecision on obstruction of justice to claim that Congress must be allowed to view the special counsel’s underlying evidence for itself. 

“We need to know what happened and we need to correct the record, because all we have right now is that four-page press release that the attorney general put out at the beginning of the week,” Raskin said on CNN.