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

Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinHouse Dem calls on lawmakers to 'insulate' election process following Mueller report Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction Washington in frenzy over release of Mueller report MORE (D-Md.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFormer Bush assistant: Mueller report makes Obama look 'just plain bad' 20 years after Columbine, Dems bullish on gun reform Dem says marijuana banking bill will get House vote this spring MORE (R-Ky.) and Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Trump approval drops to 2019 low after Mueller report's release: poll Trump: Mueller report was 'written as nastily as possible' by 'true Trump Haters' MORE on Thursday over delays in releasing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 TrumpImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Feds say marijuana ties could prevent immigrants from getting US citizenship Trump approval drops to 2019 low after Mueller report's release: poll 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 Jay RosensteinImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Collins: Mueller report includes 'an unflattering portrayal' of Trump Holder: Any 'competent' prosecutor could win obstruction case against Trump 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.