Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-SC) declared that the Russia probe was “over” on Wednesday after special counsel Robert Mueller made his first public appearance in two years to discuss his investigation.
“Mr. Mueller has decided to move on and let the report speak for itself,” Graham said in a statement that largely echoed the White House’s messaging. “Congress should follow his lead.”
However, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) is taking the opposite approach.
“Given that Special Counsel Mueller was unable to pursue criminal charges against the President, it falls to Congress to respond to the crimes, lies and other wrongdoing of President Trump – and we will do so,” Nadler said in response to Mueller’s press conference.
Here’s Graham’s full statement:
“Today’s statement by Mr. Mueller reinforces the findings of his report. And as for me, the case is over.
“Mr. Mueller has decided to move on and let the report speak for itself. Congress should follow his lead.
“As I originally stated, I appreciate Mr. Mueller and his team for rendering a service to our country by thoroughly investigating the allegations against the Trump campaign regarding Russia collusion.
“As Mr. Mueller said today, the report speaks for itself. The report shows that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and any member or operative of the Russian government. However, there was a systematic effort by Russia to disrupt our election. We should be on guard for future election attacks by Russia and other bad actors.
“I particularly appreciate Special Counsel Mueller’s statement today acknowledging that Attorney General Barr has made the report as transparent as possible, and the American people can largely read the report for themselves.
“As to obstruction, the Mueller team failed to reach a conclusion and turned that task over to the Attorney General. The Attorney General, in concert with then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, decided that as a matter of fact and law, an obstruction case against President Trump was not warranted. As the Mueller report indicated, a possible obstruction case was a hodgepodge of complicated facts and law.
“Without an underlying offense or collusion, and the overwhelming cooperation by the Trump White House with the Mueller investigation, the Attorney General’s decision on obstruction is sound. It will be the final word in my view.
“It is now time to move on and to work together in a bipartisan fashion to harden our election infrastructure against future attempts by Russia and other bad actors. We should also work together to solve our nation’s problems like high prescription drug prices and broken infrastructure.”