04.18.19

Comment On Release Of Special Counsel Mueller's Redacted Report

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
On The Release Of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Redacted Report

April 18, 2019

Despite the Attorney General’s spin and carefully orchestrated press rollout — obviously intended for an audience of one — nothing can hide that this report amounts to a formal presentment of misconduct that reached the highest levels of the Trump campaign and administration.

Members of the Trump campaign were not simply useful pawns in Russia’s attack on our elections. They were eager, unapologetic beneficiaries of Russia’s interference. They welcomed it. They encouraged the release of stolen materials and planned a press strategy around it. They not once reported it to law enforcement authorities. Then they misrepresented the facts and hid their actions from the American people. Repeatedly.

The President’s interference with the Justice Department’s subsequent investigation went beyond everything that we had known. He regularly used the office of the presidency to attempt to manipulate and delegitimize one of the most critical national security investigations of our time. His lawyers promised witnesses would be “taken care of” if they did not cooperate with the investigation. He fired the FBI director leading the initial investigation and then attempted to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

His efforts demean his office and demean the rule of law.

Robert Mueller did his job. Now it’s time for Congress to do our job, as Mr. Mueller envisioned in his report. In order to do so we must view the full, unredacted report. And Mr. Mueller should testify before Congress as soon as possible.

I hope all Americans, no matter their political views, agree that we must do more to protect our elections from foreign interference. The governments of foreign adversaries, including the Kremlin, are neither Republican nor Democrat. They seek only to divide and weaken us as Americans. These tangible threats to our democracy, and what we need to do about them, are the issue, not the President’s vanity about being seen as “winning” an election.

We must all stand together against foreign adversaries that threaten our democracy. And President Trump, who has never fully acknowledged these threats, needs to stand with us.

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