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 BarrBarr criticizes FBI, says it's possible agents acted in 'bad faith' in Trump probe Barr: 'I haven't looked into' whether Ukraine meddled in 2016 election Facebook tells Trump administration it will not create messaging 'backdoor' for law enforcement MORE on Thursday evening while maintaining that 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 report on his nearly two-year investigation "does not exonerate" President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate US sending 20,000 troops to Europe for largest exercises since Cold War Barr criticizes FBI, says it's possible agents acted in 'bad faith' in Trump probe MORE.

In a joint statement, Democratic Reps. Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerREAD: Articles of impeachment against Trump Trump, White House rip Democrats over impeachment articles GOP lawmaker criticizes Democratic counsel over facial expression: 'Be very careful' MORE (N.Y.), Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCBS's Major Garrett: Democrats walking away from bribery, extortion allegations against Trump 'in full public view' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — House Dems charge Trump with abuse, obstruction of Congress in impeachment articles Trump, White House rip Democrats over impeachment articles MORE (Calif.), Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersDemocrats could introduce articles of impeachment next week What are not criteria for impeachment? Fed's top regulator takes heat from both parties MORE (Calif.), Richard NealRichard Edmund NealAFL-CIO backs Trump's North American trade pact Pelosi announces support for new Trump NAFTA deal Trump expresses confidence on USMCA, touts Democrat support MORE (Mass.), Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsTrump request for Ukrainian 'favor' tops notable quote list Impeachment can't wait Adam Schiff's star rises with impeachment hearings MORE (Md.) and Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelHouse Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday House approves two-state resolution in implicit rebuke of Trump House leaders: Trump administration asking South Korea to pay more for US troops 'a needless wedge' 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 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 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 ComeyMisfired 'Hurricane': Comey's team abused Carter Page and the FBI Trump rebukes FBI chief Wray over inspector general's Russia inquiry The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - Democrats to release articles of impeachment today MORE, amounted to such a crime.