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

Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinHouse panel investigating decision to resume federal executions Pelosi, allies seek to keep gun debate focused on McConnell Pelosi backers feel vindicated after tumultuous stretch MORE (D-Md.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump faces crucial decisions on economy, guns Are Democrats turning Trump-like? House Democrat calls for gun control: Cities can ban plastic straws but 'we can't ban assault weapons?' MORE (R-Ky.) and Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrCurrent and former prosecutors respond to Barr's 'concerning' comments on progressive DAs Attorney General Barr's license to kill Medical examiner confirms Epstein death by suicide MORE on Thursday over delays in releasing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Kellyanne Conway: 'I'd like to know' if Mueller read his own report 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 TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump 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 RosensteinWhy the presumption of innocence doesn't apply to Trump McCabe sues FBI, DOJ, blames Trump for his firing Rosenstein: Trump should focus on preventing people from 'becoming violent white supremacists' 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.