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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 BarrBill BarrSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Lawyer for former officer charged in George Floyd death alleges witness coercion CNN legal analyst joins DOJ's national security division MORE on Thursday evening while maintaining that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's report on his nearly two-year investigation "does not exonerate" President TrumpDonald TrumpSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Navajo Nation president on Arizona's new voting restrictions: An 'assault' on our rights The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez MORE.

In a joint statement, Democratic Reps. Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerMcGahn to sit for closed-door interview with House Democrats House to consider anti-Asian hate crimes bill, protections for pregnant workers this month A historic moment to truly honor mothers MORE (N.Y.), Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Lone wolf actors post greatest domestic terror threat, FBI, DHS conclude State calls for Azerbaijan to pull back forces from Armenia border MORE (Calif.), Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersJuan Williams: Tim Scott should become a Democrat The Hill's Morning Report - Biden address to Congress will dominate busy week Maxine Waters: Judge in Chauvin trial who criticized her was 'angry' MORE (Calif.), Richard NealRichard Edmund NealGAO report finds maternal mortality rates higher in rural, underserved areas On The Money: Weekly jobless claims fall to 498K, hitting new post-lockdown low | House to advance appropriations bills in June, July Rural Democrats urge protections from tax increases for family farms MORE (Mass.), Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsOvernight Health Care: AstraZeneca may have included outdated data on vaccine trial, officials say | Pelosi says drug pricing measure under discussion for infrastructure package | Biden administration extends special ObamaCare enrollment until August Pelosi: Drug pricing measure under discussion for infrastructure package Bottom line MORE (Md.) and Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelLawmakers on hot mic joke 'aisle hog' Engel absent from Biden address: 'He'd wait all day' Bowman to deliver progressive response to Biden's speech to Congress Liberal advocacy group stirs debate, discomfort with primary challenges MORE (N.Y.) condemned what they said was a "damning portrait of lies" that could amount to obstruction of justice committed by the president.

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“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 RosensteinProtect the police or the First Amendment? Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Comey argues Trump shouldn't be prosecuted after leaving Oval Office 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 ComeyThe FBI should turn off the FARA faucet Barr threatened to resign over Trump attempts to fire Wray: report 'Fox News Sunday' to mark 25 years on air MORE, amounted to such a crime.