After Mueller, Congress Has To Step Up To The Plate

As Trump and his supporters take a victory lap over Attorney General Bill Barr’s letter summing up the Mueller report, it’s worth noting that claims of “total and complete exoneration” (in the words of press secretary Sarah Sanders) are at odds with what the letter actually says.

In fact, while the Mueller Report, according to Barr’s summary, has decided there was not sufficient evidence of conspiracy or coordination, on the issue of obstruction of justice the letter is much murkier. Barr quotes Mueller as writing, “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” Mueller left the decision on obstruction unsettled. It was then taken up by Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

But there’s no reason for Barr and Rosenstein to be the last word on this. The questions of both Russian interference in the 2016 election (which the Mueller report supports) and Trump’s attempts to obstruct the investigation into the same are not just legal matters but also, at core, political matters. The Special Council fulfilled its role, but Congress has a job as well: to assess the evidence gathered and pursue further lines of inquiry.

Greg Sargent of The Washington Post makes the case for further congressional inquiry:

Fortunately, congressional Democrats seem to be on the same page:

 

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