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

Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinLawmakers to watch during Wednesday's impeachment hearing Pelosi faces tough choices on impeachment managers Five questions looming over impeachment MORE (D-Md.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocratic challenger to Joni Ernst releases ad depicting her as firing gun at him Senate confirms eight Trump court picks in three days The case for censuring, and not impeaching, Donald Trump MORE (R-Ky.) and Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrHillicon Valley: Pelosi works to remove legal protections for tech companies from USMCA | Treasury sanctions Russian group over 0 million hack | Facebook sues Chinese individuals for ad fraud | Huawei takes legal action against FCC Biden gets in testy exchange in Iowa: 'You're a damn liar' Huawei to sue US over new FCC restrictions MORE on Thursday over delays in releasing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by 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. 


“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 TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments 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 RosensteinRosenstein, Sessions discussed firing Comey in late 2016 or early 2017: FBI notes Justice Dept releases another round of summaries from Mueller probe Judge rules former WH counsel McGahn must testify under subpoena 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.