Senators back public release of Mueller report

Staff Report

PARKERSBURG — Three U.S. senators from Ohio and West Virginia support the public release of the special counsel’s report on the Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“As I’ve said consistently, I believe the report should be made public, with important exceptions for grand jury or classified information, and I hope the attorney general provides as much information to the public as he possibly can, as soon as he can,” Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said.

Attorney General Bill Barr on Sunday gave Congress a summary of the report by Robert Mueller, who for nearly two years investigated the Trump campaign and Russian meddling into the election. According to a synopsis provided by Barr, while the report did not conclude President Trump committed a crime, Mueller said it does not exonerate him.

“Today’s summary by the Attorney General says that the Special Counsel’s report confirms that Russians meddled in the 2016 election, but finds no evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign,” Portman said. “Finally, the summary indicates that the Special Counsel reached no conclusion on obstruction of justice. The Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General have concluded that the Special Counsel’s investigation did not include sufficient evidence to warrant any obstruction of justice charges against the president.”

Barr’s summary is insufficient, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said.

“A summary report is not enough. It’s important that the American public have the answers they deserve about the full scope of the Mueller report and its findings,” he said. “The Department of Justice should turn over the full report to Congress, the administration should preserve all of the information and underlying evidence it provided to the special counsel and the report should be released to the public in full.”

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said in a Twitter post “It’s good to see Special Counsel Mueller back up what President Trump has said all along – neither he nor his campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.”

“I am satisfied the special counsel was able to complete his investigation and look forward to learning more about the details of his report, and I trust Attorney General Barr to uphold his commitment to transparency in releasing them to Congress and the American people in accordance with the law,” she said.

Emails for comments were sent to the federal office holders. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was reviewing Barr’s memo to Congress.

Reps. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., and Carol Miller, R-W.Va., issued statements with a political taint, saying the investigation has found no collusion between Trump, his campaign and the Russians.

“Month after month, many mainstream media journalists and elected Democrats, including some of my House colleagues, have been out spinning a false narrative to advance their political agenda,” Johnson said. “They should apologize. Not a single American was charged, indicted, or convicted for conspiring with Russia to influence the 2016 election — not one.”

Johnson said it was “a fabricated hoax perpetrated by those who could not accept the fact that Donald Trump won the 2016 election fair and square.”

“So, what happens now? Who will be held accountable for starting this treacherous conspiracy theory that’s wasted so much of our time and the American taxpayers’ hard-earned money. It’s very scary to think that we, the American public, were never supposed to find out what was going on ‘behind the scenes,’ as Donald Trump was never supposed to win. Had he not, we wouldn’t have found out about any of the shady FISA warrants, wiretapping, or extreme bias in the Justice Department and at the FBI. We simply must get to the bottom of this, and those responsible for dragging the country through this mess, knowing it was all untrue, must be held accountable,” Johnson said.

Miller blamed “misguided Washington liberals” who pushed political conspiracy theories and attempted to discredit the 2016 election.

“Now that Special Counsel Mueller has vindicated our president, I urge my Democrat colleagues to refocus their previously misplaced energy and choose greatness for America by working with President Trump and Republicans to grow our economy, create more jobs, improve our infrastructure, strengthen our national security and solve the crisis on our Southern Border,” she said.

Mooney also said the report is clear there was no collusion.

“It is time for Democrats to move on, end their partisan investigation, and start focusing on issues that matter to all Americans,” Mooney said.

Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., was more regulated in his comments.

“After almost two years and $25 million, the special counsel has concluded its investigation and early reports say that there was no collusion,” McKinley said. “While it is critical that our government has checks and balances, this investigation has divided many members of Congress. With it ending, I hope Congress can return its full attention to addressing the issues that affect our country.”