Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had hoped that Democrats would accept the Mueller Report’s conclusion that the Trump campaign did not collude with the Russians to win the 2016 presidential election. Frustrated by their inability to come to terms with Mueller’s decision, he took to the floor to deliver a scathing speech this morning.
Many Americans were waiting to see how their elected officials would respond. With an exhaustive investigation complete, would the country finally unify to confront the real challenges before us? Would we finally be able to move on from partisan paralysis and breathless conspiracy theorizing? Or would we remain consumed by unhinged partisanship, and keep dividing ourselves to the point that Putin and his agents need only stand on the sidelines and watch as their job is done for them?
Regrettably, I think the answer is obvious.
McConnell told senators he wanted to discuss “how we can finally end this ground hog day spectacle.”
He said that Democrats were disappointed by the results, adding that “They seemed to be hoping for a national crisis for the sake of their own politics.”
He reminded them that the case is closed.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler has announced he plans to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for not providing a fully redacted copy of the report or the underlying documents. By law, Barr was not required to release any part of the report. I wrote about this here.
And they found fault with his pre-release press conference during which he explained why he and Rosenstein did not pursue an obstruction charge. What they are in denial about is that if Mueller had enough evidence to indict President Trump with obstruction, he would not have hesitated.
And most Democrats have been critical of the way Barr has handled the release of the report. They’ve claimed his four page summary was “technically accurate but presents an incomplete picture of the investigation’s findings.”
McConnell noted that “Russia sought out to sow discord. But on that front, given the left’s total fixation on delegitimizing the president … I”m afraid the Russians hardly need to lift a finger.
McConnell pointed out “The Obama administration let Russia get away with almost anything.” Yet the Democrats “seem to be angrier at Bill Barr for doing his job than they are at Vladimir Putin.” And he accused them of “slandering Barr because they don’t like how the Russia investigation turned out.”
In other words, he spoke the truth.
It was not received well by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Shortly after McConnell spoke, Schumer rose to the podium to deliver the Democrats’ talking points. He expressed their concern over the obstruction issue. He cited yesterday’s news of the letter signed by nearly 400 former prosecutors, which claimed that Trump was not indicted only because current DOJ regulations do not allow a sitting president to be indicted.
One of the federal prosecutors who signed the letter, who is now a CNN legal analyst (what a surprise), told CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin:
The obstruction case against the president is an easily chargeable and easily provable case that would have been brought against anyone else.
You should know the takeaway is contrary to what the Attorney General is saying. This is an obstruction case. The president did obstruct justice. It’s just that he can’t be charged with it now.
He can be charged after his term is over. He can be impeached by Congress because of it. But those crimes happened.
Schumer said, “Our leader saying let’s move on is sort of like Richard Nixon saying let’s move on at the height of the investigation into his wrongdoing.” He also referred to McConnell’s speech as an “astounding bit of whitewash” and “entirely unconvincing.”
I’d say it’s time for Trump and Barr to release those FISA documents now.