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

Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben Raskin House Democrats to Schumer: Vote again on Jan. 6 probe Democrats claim vindication, GOP cries witch hunt as McGahn finally testifies Trump DOJ seized phone records of New York Times reporters MORE (D-Md.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPortman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Graham calls voting rights bill 'biggest power grab' in history The wild card that might save Democrats in the midterms MORE (R-Ky.) and Attorney General William BarrBill BarrLieu calls Catholic bishops 'hypocrites' for move to deny Biden communion The Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? Senate Judiciary Democrats demand DOJ turn over Trump obstruction memo MORE on Thursday over delays in releasing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel 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. 


“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 TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat 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 RosensteinHouse Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week Media leaders to meet with Garland to discuss leak investigations 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.