WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — U.S. Attorney General William Barr released his summary of and a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report while Congress was on its spring break.
Lawmakers are now back in the saddle and on Wednesday, there was a showdown over Barr’s handling of the report as he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, questioned Barr about a recently released letter from Mueller that expressed concerns over the attorney general’s early summary of the report.
“Why did you say you were not aware of concerns when weeks before your testimony Mr. Mueller had expressed concerns to you?” Leahy asked.
“Mueller had never told me that the expression of the findings was inaccurate,” Barr responded.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, complained that Barr should not have kept that letter secret.
“Would you concede that you had an opportunity to make this letter public on April 4 when Rep. Crist asked you a very related question?” he asked.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, says the Mueller report showed illegal actions by President Donald Trump and Barr should not have cleared him of wrongdoing.
“I think history will judge you harshly,” Blumenthal said to Barr.
Republicans on the committee stood in lockstep with Barr about his conclusions and handling of the Mueller report.
“No collusion. No coordination. No conspiracy,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said.
“For me…it is over,” he added.
But some Republicans say they now want an investigation into why the FBI began its investigation of the Trump campaign.
Graham thinks otherwise, saying it’s time to put the Mueller report to rest and focus on hardening our election systems against foreign interference.