Boston, MA– U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) are urging action after the release of the long-awaited and heavily redacted Mueller Report yesterday. President Trump and Attorney General William Barr are crowing that the report proves “no collusion.”
But that’s not exactly what the report said; a lack of positive proof is not an exoneration. The investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia concluded: “While the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign, the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges.”
Senator Markey was quick to point out that while no charges were brought, the evidence indisputably shows that the Russian government attempted to influence the U.S. election. In response to the release of the Mueller Report, Markey tweeted: “...we also must stay focused on the larger threat: Russia is going to keep trying to influence our elections, Trump or no Trump. And we need a plan to stop it.”
Meanwhile, Senator Warren, who has announced her presidential campaign for 2020, has joined a number of prominent Democrats in calling for the release of the full, unredacted report. She has asked supporters to sign a petition to release the report to the public and allow Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify in front of Congress regarding the report’s findings.
In addition to the report’s conclusions around Russian involvement in the election, the report describes 10 separate instances (detailed by the Boston Globe) where President Trump attempted to influence the outcome of the Russia probe, which could be considered obstruction of justice. Most of his attempts failed because his own staff refused to carry out his orders, says the report.
The Mueller Report stops short of charging the president with a crime, but that is still a real possibility: “Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Warren and Markey were joined by Massachusetts Representatives Seth Moulton, Jim McGovern, Katherine Clark, Joe Kennedy III, Ayanna Pressley, Lori Trahan, Bill Keating, and Stephen Lynch in calling for the release of the full report and casting doubt on the motivations of Attorney General Barr who some would argue is more committed to defending President Trump than to the pursuit of justice.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer summarized this skepticism, saying ‘‘one thing is clear: Attorney General Barr presented a conclusion that the president did not obstruct justice while Mueller’s report appears to undercut that finding.’’
Image via Wikimedia Commons / Kremlin.ru