President Donald Trump’s allies and Republican lawmakers celebrated Attorney General William Barr’s summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which found that neither Trump nor his campaign officials colluded with Russia to interfere with the 2016 election.
While the special counsel notably did not clear Trump of obstruction of justice accusations, Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded that Mueller’s team did not find enough evidence to conclude that Trump committed that crime.
“No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!” the president announced by tweet.
‘One the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated’
Trump’s lawyers and allies argued on Sunday that Mueller’s report is a full exoneration and “vindication” of the president.
Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, attacked the “mainstream media,” including CNN and MSNBC, and argued that reporters and Democrats promoted conspiracy theories about the president and his inner circle.
“The farce that the Democrats & their media lackeys perpetrated on the American people for over 2 years should never be forgotten!” Trump Jr. tweeted.
In another tweet, Trump Jr. called the investigation “one the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated” on Americans and called for an investigation into those who led and called for the probe.
“How this farce started and snowballed based on the actions of unelected bureaucrats into one the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated on the America [sic] should be discovered,” the president’s son wrote. “Those responsible should be held accountable for this stain on American Democracy.”
It is not publicly known whether Mueller interviewed Trump Jr. in the course of his probe, which lasted 22 months. Trump Jr. notably arranged a secret meeting in Trump Tower in June 2016 with a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.
While Mueller will not seek any further indictments, his report — the contents of which Democrats are pushing to be made public — may contain evidence of wrongdoing by Trump and members of his family and inner circle. Department of Justice guidelines hold that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
Sean Hannity, the Fox News host and informal Trump adviser, simply tweeted, “MSNBC CONSPIRACY NETWORK LIARS FAKE NEWS CNN LIARS NY TIMES WAPO LIARS.”
Republican lawmakers similarly cheered Barr’s conclusions, but argued that Democrats will wrongly continue to investigate the president.
“Attorney General Barr’s statement should end the debate: there was no collusion, and there was no obstruction. We should move on,” South Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows tweeted. “But if history is any indication, you can expect Democrats to accept this result the way they accepted the 2016 election. As in, they won’t.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close ally of the president, called Sunday a “great day for President Trump and his team.”
“Bad day for those hoping the Mueller investigation would take President Trump down,” Graham added.
Democrats call for Mueller’s full report to be made public
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed the president’s claims of “total exoneration” and argued that Barr’s summary cannot be taken at face value because he answers to the president and because he had previously expressed skepticism about the special counsel investigation.
“Given Mr. Barr’s public record of bias against the Special Counsel’s inquiry, he is not a neutral observer and is not in a position to make objective determinations about the report,” they wrote.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler announced that House Democrats will call Barr to testify before Congress concerning his handling of the probe.
“Special Counsel Mueller worked for 22 months to determine the extent to which President Trump obstructed justice. Attorney General Barr took 2 days to tell the American people that while the President is not exonerated, there will be no action by DOJ,” Nadler wrote.
He went on, “In light of the very concerning discrepancies and final decision making at the Justice Department following the Special Counsel report, where Mueller did not exonerate the President, we will be calling Attorney General Barr in to testify before @HouseJudiciary in the near future.”
Democrats continued to push for the full public release of Mueller’s report and for Congress to be provided all “underlying evidence” collected by Mueller’s team that may be relevant to their investigations into potential wrongdoing by the president and his inner circle.
“Mueller’s investigation began as a counterintelligence inquiry into whether individuals associated with the Trump campaign were compromised by a foreign power,” House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff tweeted. “By law, that evidence he uncovered must be shared with our Committee. And his report must also be made public. Now.”