Dem House chairs: Mueller report 'does not exonerate the president'

Dem House chairs: Mueller report 'does not exonerate the president'
© Greg Nash

Six top House Democrats blasted 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 evening while maintaining that 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 report on his nearly two-year investigation "does not exonerate" 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.

In a joint statement, Democratic Reps. Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerGOP memo deflects some gun questions to 'violence from the left' House Democrats urge Trump to end deportations of Iraqis after diabetic man's death French officials call for investigation of Epstein 'links with France' MORE (N.Y.), Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffAre Democrats turning Trump-like? Schiff offers bill to make domestic terrorism a federal crime New intel chief inherits host of challenges MORE (Calif.), Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersF-bombs away: Why lawmakers are cursing now more than ever Banks give Congress, New York AG documents related to Russians who may have dealt with Trump: report Maxine Waters: Force us to ban assault weapons 'or kick our a--- out of Congress!' MORE (Calif.), Richard NealRichard Edmund NealNY files motion to keep Trump tax returns lawsuit out of DC court Democrats give cold shoulder to Warren wealth tax Senate Dems urge Mnuchin not to cut capital gains taxes MORE (Mass.), Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsCan the Democrats unseat Trump? Democrats slam alleged politicization of Trump State Department after IG report Senior Trump officials accused of harassing, retaliating against career State Dept. employees MORE (Md.) and Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelPelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid Democrats slam alleged politicization of Trump State Department after IG report Trump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China MORE (N.Y.) condemned what they said was a "damning portrait of lies" that could amount to obstruction of justice committed by the president.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Taken as a whole, Mueller’s report paints a damning portrait of lies that appear to have materially impaired the investigation, a body of evidence of improper contacts with a foreign adversary, and serious allegations about how President Trump sought to obstruct a legitimate, and deeply important, counterintelligence investigation," the committee chairs wrote.

“We are profoundly troubled by the astonishing efforts by President Trump identified in the report to obstruct the investigation, including his attempts to remove the Special Counsel and encourage witnesses to lie and to destroy or conceal evidence," the lawmakers continued.

Nadler, Schiff, Waters, Neal, Cummings and Engel serve as chairs of the House Judiciary, Intelligence, Financial Services, Ways and Means, Oversight and Reform and Foreign Affairs panels, respectively.

Democrats have accused Barr of misrepresenting Mueller's findings, citing sections of the report that state Congress should be allowed to decide whether to investigate a sitting president for "corrupt" uses of presidential power.

“With respect to whether the President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice,” Mueller wrote.

Barr wrote in a four-page summary of the report sent to Congress last month that Mueller had left the determination of whether to prosecute Trump for obstruction up to the attorney general. Barr said that 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 there was not enough evidence to pursue an obstruction charge.

Democrats have criticized Barr and Rosenstein's decision not to pursue prosecution of the president for obstruction of justice, arguing that actions taken by the president, including the firing of former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien Comey3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 Barr predicts progressive prosecutors will lead to 'more crime, more victims' James Comey shows our criminal justice system works as intended MORE, amounted to such a crime.