Fri, 24 May 2019

Mueller Report Lays Bare Deep US Partisan Divide

Voice of America
19 Apr 2019, 04:05 GMT+10

Democratic and Republican lawmakers had sharply differing reactions to Thursdays release of special counsel Robert Muellers redacted Russia report, which explained Mueller's reasoning for not finding that President Donald Trump criminally colluded with Moscow as well as his neutrality on whether the president obstructed justice.

The partisan controversy over Mueller's report is likely to play out in hearings on Capitol Hill and debates along the campaign trail throughout the 2020 election season.

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Explore the Mueller investigation: Check out our timeline of events, indictment profiles and history of past investigations.

Explore the Mueller investigation: Check out our timeline of events, indictment profiles and history of past investigations.

Democrats highlighted portions of the Mueller report documenting contacts between Trumps inner circle and foreign operatives bent on damaging the presidents 2016 Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, by hacking and releasing sensitive emails from her campaign.

They also noted the reports documentation of instances where Trump sought to thwart the Russia probe, often unsuccessfully.

'Mueller shows collusion, but perhaps not criminal collusion,' California Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman tweeted. 'Collusion in dissemination [of emails], but not in the hacking. And Mueller show lots of criminal Obstruction.'

Democratic Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania tweeted that a thorough examination of the Mueller report 'will not change what we already know: Russia attacked our election in 2016, [and] President Trump and his closest aides and allies welcomed that attack.'

Casey added: 'The actions we know that President Trump, his aides and allies took may not violate criminal statutes, but they are fundamentally inconsistent with American values.'

Republicans, meanwhile, focused on the special counsels bottom line: no recommendation of charges against Trump.

'Nothing we saw today changes the underlying results of the 22-month-long Mueller investigation that ultimately found no collusion,' House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement. 'Democrats want to keep searching for imaginary evidence that supports their claims, but it is simply not there.'

That view was echoed by the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.

'The special counsels 22-month investigation found no Americans conspired with Russia to interfere in our elections and Democrats accusations of criminal obstruction are unfounded.,' Georgia Rep. Doug Collins said in a statement.

Some lawmakers urged the American people to weigh in, as well.

'I'm reading it [the Mueller report]. More importantly, the American people should read the report for themselves and draw their own conclusions,' Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin tweeted.

Cardin noted that the report contains alarming information about Russian efforts to undermine American democracy.

'We have an obligation to protect our country from Russia and others who would want to do us harm, including trying to twist our system for their own purposes,' he said.

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