Sen. Richard Blumenthal said it’s not over yet – it’s only the beginning of a new chapter.
The Democrat wants to see an unredacted copy of the Mueller Report and he’s calling for special counsel Robert Mueller to testify in front of Congress.
Blumenthal panned Attorney General William Barr’s release of a redacted document Thursday, featuring Mueller’s summary of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
“I want to emphasize the discrepancy between the ‘sunshine spin’ that we saw from the Attorney General this morning and the detailed description of wrongdoing in this report,” Blumenthal said. “What’s demonstrated in powerful and compelling detail in this report is nothing less than a national scandal.”
Blumenthal said that President Donald Trump wasn’t exonerated in the report and that Mueller found at least 10 instances where the president could be guilty of obstruction of justice.
The Senator said he’s only seen a tiny piece of the report, so he can’t yet comment on whether Trump could face criminal charges or be impeached based on what’s in the report.
Blumenthal's colleague Sen. Chris Murphy echoed his call for the release of the full report, saying that Congress may have to subpoena the unredacted version.
“Attorney General Barr is supposed to be the nation’s top impartial lawyer, not a White House spokesman," said Murphy, in a statement highly critical of Barr's Thursday morning press conference. “The American people deserve the full report so they can decide for themselves on these findings. Our democracy depends on transparency, and Congress should use our oversight powers to demand it.”
Third district Representative Rosa DeLauro added her voice to calls for Mueller himself to testify before Congress.
“After an extensive investigation, the Special Counsel found widespread interference from the Russian government in our 2016 Presidential election, which merits strong and swift Congressional action to protect our nation’s elections in the future," said DeLauro in a statement. "To quote Mueller and his team from Volume II of the report, ‘if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.’"
The second district's Joe Courtney was highly critical of Attorney General Barr's handling of the report.
"The release of even the redacted version today makes clear that his “initial summary” of Special Counsel Mueller’s findings was misleading at best – and willfully distorted at worst," said Courtney. "Even with its many redactions, the report raises serious questions and concerns that the American people deserve answers to."
The fourth district's Jim Himes said the report debunks last year’s attempt by Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee to clear President Donald Trump.
Himes, who is a member of the committee, said Mueller's conclusions contradict partisan findings of former Republican Chair Devin Nunes last year.
“That’s important sadly because it indicates that there were some real flaws in the report produced by Devin Nunes,” said Himes.
He claims details in the Mueller report show the extent Trump went to, to try to torpedo the investigation.
“If Congress were of the mind to impeach this president, you’d have one strong obstruction case,” he said.
But Himes is doubtful that Democrats want to impeach Trump. He said there are so many other ongoing investigations of the president.
Ebong Udoma of WSHU contributed to this report.