House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) called out Attorney General Barr and warned Trump that he would be held accountable.
Chairman Schiff said in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA:
First and foremost, I want to thank Robert Mueller for his lifetime of public service, not just as Special Counsel, but also as a Marine, at the Department of Justice, and as FBI Director. Only someone of his caliber and integrity could have conducted an investigation of this importance in such a fair and impartial way.
Mueller confirmed today that Russia engaged in multiple systematic efforts to interfere in the 2016 election and the U.S. political system, and underscored that this ‘deserves the attention of every American.’ These facts are indisputable, spelled out in great detail in his report, and lay bare the sinister and sophisticated nature of Russia’s attack.
Despite the president’s ‘no collusion’ mantra, Mueller in fact found countless contacts between Russian officials and agents, and Trump campaign associates. These communications and actions were deeply compromising, and raise serious counterintelligence concerns that the Committee must follow. Perhaps most damning of all, Mueller found that Trump and his campaign sought to benefit from a hostile foreign intelligence operation. The Special Counsel determined that there was insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy, but this should not inure us to how unethical and corrupt these actions were and how they undermined our national security.
Finally, in a direct rebuke of Attorney General William Barr—who deliberately and repeatedly misled the American people—Mueller today confirmed that he was unable to consider criminal charges of obstruction of justice against the President specifically because of Department of Justice policy prohibiting the indictment of a sitting president. Mueller reiterated that ‘if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.’ Instead, he made clear that, because of the Department’s own policy, it is left it to Congress—not the Attorney General—to evaluate and further investigate the president’s misconduct.
We look forward to Mueller’s testimony before Congress. While I understand his reluctance to answer hypotheticals or deviate from the carefully worded conclusions he drew on his charging decisions, there are, nevertheless, a great many questions he can answer that go beyond the report, including any counterintelligence issues and classified matters that were not addressed in his findings.
The Congress has a constitutional duty to hold the president accountable and ensure that our democratic system is not influenced or attacked by foreign adversaries. We will continue to do both because no one is above the law, not even the President of the United States.
Adam Schiff isn’t letting William Barr off of the hook for his lies about the Mueller report, and his message about looking forward to Mueller’s testimony should send a wave of fear through the president because even though Mueller said that he is done talking, there are counterintelligence components to investigate that remain under-discussed.
Adam Schiff’s message is that this isn’t over, we aren’t moving on, and House Democrats are just getting started.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association