Senate Republicans Keeping Quiet After Mueller Report Release

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 25: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talks with reporters outside the Senate chamber about a continuing resolution to re-open the government on Friday, January 25, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group

Senate Republicans don’t seem to see the Mueller report’s release as cause for celebration.

Asked by reporters Thursday about their reactions to the nearly 500-page document’s revelations, top GOP senators said little, praising Attorney General Bill Barr’s shepherding of the release process but offering no commentary on President Trump’s actions.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he looked forward to “carefully reviewing the report.”

“I’m grateful for the attorney general’s diligent work to release as much of the special counsel’s report as possible to Congress and to the American people,” McConnell said, according to the Washington Examiner.

The report revealed that, contrary to Barr’s characterization, Mueller identified 10 instances where Trump may have obstructed justice. It contains a wealth of unflattering information about the President’s efforts to control the probe and his campaign’s connections to Russians eager to help him win the 2016 election.

Both Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) told Politico they needed to read through the full document before offering comment on the implications for Trump.

On obstruction, Blunt said he had “no reason to question what the attorney general or the deputy attorney general thought was the right way to deal with that material.”

Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) also focused on praising Barr rather than opining on the President’s innocence.

“I applaud Attorney General Barr for his commitment to transparency and keeping the American people informed, consistent with the law and our national security interests,” Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Politico.

Trump, meanwhile, has said the report means “game over” for those concerned about his campaign’s links to Russia. And top Republicans in the House rushed to his defense, mocking Democratic lawmakers for investigating the matter and even asking them to apologize.

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