McConnell says 'case closed' on Mueller

McConnell says 'case closed' on Mueller
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFormer senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Democrats step up pressure over witnesses after Bolton bombshell Bolton book alleges Trump tied Ukraine aid freeze to Biden investigations: NYT MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday declared the "case closed" on special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE's investigation, blasting Democrats for having an "absolute meltdown" over his report.

"What we've seen is a meltdown, an absolute meltdown, an inability to accept the bottom-line conclusion on Russian interference from the special counsel's report," McConnell said from the Senate floor. "My Democratic colleagues seem to be publicly working through the five stages of grief."  

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The remarks from McConnell come amid a no holds barred fight between the two parties in Washington over the handling of Mueller's report. Mueller found no evidence of a conspiracy between Russia and President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump denies telling Bolton Ukraine aid was tied to investigations Former senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Title, release date revealed for Bolton memoir MORE's campaign or organization, but did not reach a conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice.

Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham Barr DOJ says surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Page lacked evidence Senators press DHS over visa approval for Pensacola naval base shooter Democrats sharpen case on second day of arguments MORE did reach that conclusion upon reviewing Mueller's report with then-Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein says he authorized release of Strzok-Page texts Journalist alleging Obama administration spied on her seeks to reopen case Rosenstein on his time in Trump administration: 'We got all the big issues right' MORE. Democrats have criticized that finding and are demanding to hear from Mueller. Democrats on the House Judiciary have also scheduled a vote this week to hold Barr in contempt. 

McConnell on Tuesday argued that Democrats are angry at Barr for doing his job. 

"Baseless accusations of perjury, laughable threats of impeachment. Look, we all know what's going on here. The whole angry barrage the Democrats had prepared to unleash on President Trump except the facts let them down," McConnell said. "They are slandering a distinguished public servant because the real world has disappointed them."

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerBolton book alleges Trump tied Ukraine aid freeze to Biden investigations: NYT Trump legal team offers brisk opening defense of president Impeachment has been a dud for Democrats MORE (D-N.Y.) quickly hit back at McConnell, saying he was trying to "whitewash" Mueller's findings and compared his calls to "move on" to "Richard Nixon saying 'let's move on' at the height of the investigation of his wrongdoing."

McConnell said that some on the left had turned Mueller into a "kind of secular saint," and that they appeared to be "grieving" over the findings and should "come back to reality." 

"For two years many of the president's opponents seemed to be hoping the worst conspiracy theories were actually true. They seemed to be hoping for a national crisis for the sake of their own politics," McConnell added. 

"Russia set out to sow discord, to create chaos in American politics and undermine confidence in our democracy. But on that given the ... fixation on delegitimizing the president, the president Americans chose, and shooting any messenger who tells them inconvenient truths ... I'm afraid the Russians hardly need to lift a finger," McConnell continued. 

The floor speech marks the most extensive remarks McConnell, who is up for reelection in 2020 and is aligning himself closely with Trump, has made on the Mueller report.

Updated at 1:22 p.m.