William Barr testifies on the Mueller report
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he's read most of special counsel Robert Mueller's nearly 400-page report on Russian interference in the 2016 US election.
"For me, it is over," Graham said.
Earlier in his remarks, Graham said the report showed "no collusion, no coordination, no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government regarding the 2016 election."
This is how he ended his opening remarks:
"I appreciate very much what Mr. Mueller did for the country. I have read most of the report. For me, it is over."
Lindsey Graham, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Russia interfered with the 2016 US election — and insisted that they are "still doing it."
"The Russians interfered in our election," Graham said. "I would like to do more to harden our infrastructure because the Russians did it. It wasn't some 400-pound guy sitting on a bed somewhere. It was the Russians. And they're still doing it."
Graham said the US needs to do more to "defend democracy" from Russia and other "bad actors."
"It could be the Chinese or somebody next. My take away from this report is that we've got a lot of work to do to defend democracy against the Russians and other bad actors," he said.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, just kicked off today's hearing with Attorney General William Barr.
In his opening statement, Graham held up a copy of special counsel Robert Mueller's report, saying it showed that there was "no collusion, no coordination, no conspiracy between the trump campaign and the Russian government regarding the 2016 election."
He then addressed Mueller's evidence on the obstruction of justice issue.
"As to obstruction of justice, Mr. Mueller left it to Mr. Barr to decide after two years and all this time. He said 'Mr. Barr, you decide.' Mr. Barr did."
Minutes before this hearing, Mueller's letter to Barr was made public. In that letter, Mueller said Barr's summary of his report did not "fully capture the context, nature and substance of the investigation," spurring "public confusion."
Graham has, so far, not mentioned Mueller's letter.
In his letter to Attorney General William Barr, special counsel Robert Mueller said Barr's summary of his report did not "fully capture the context, nature and substance of the investigation," spurring "public confusion."
Here's how Mueller put it:
"There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the department appointed the special counsel: To assure full public confidence in the outcomes of the investigations."
The televisions in the White House will be turned to Attorney General William Barr's testimony before lawmakers today, especially now that he is facing a fresh level of scrutiny over how he portrayed special counsel Robert Mueller's report.
Since the news broke last night, White House officials have expressed exasperation by the latest developments — that Mueller sent a letter to Barr expressing concern about his letter summarizing the "principal conclusions" of his report. Officials feel they have been dealing with the Russia investigation for two years, and when there was finally a light at the end of the tunnel, this story will not get out of the headlines.
President Trump— who has been praising his attorney general privately, comparing him to Jeff Sessions — is also expected to keep an eye on the testimony.
Trump has nothing on his public schedule until 2:15 p.m. ET today, when he will meet with Republican senators on maritime shipping policies.
According to Rep. Jerry Nadler's office, the Department of Justice has sent House Judiciary Chairman Nadler the letter special counsel Robert Mueller sent to to Attorney General William Barr.
During his confirmation hearing in January, Attorney General William Barr described a warm relationship with the special counsel Robert Mueller.
Barr described how he told Trump that he was friends with Mueller, referring to him on a first name basis.
"I told him how well I knew Bob Mueller and that the Barrs and Muellers were good friends and would be good friends when this was all over," Barr said. "Bob is a straight-shooter and should be dealt with as such."
Barr and Mueller now: CNN reported yesterday that Mueller expressed concerns about Barr's four-page summary of his report. In a letter to Barr, Mueller expressed concern that Barr's four-page letter to Congress summarizing the "principal conclusions" of Mueller's findings didn't fully capture his 448-page report, according to a source with knowledge of Mueller's letter.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, called on Attorney General William Barr to step down, saying he has been "tainted" by President Trump.
CNN reported yesterday that special counsel Robert Mueller expressed concerns in a letter to Barr that Barr's four-page memo to Congress summarizing the "principal conclusions" of Mueller's findings didn't fully capture his 448-page report, according to a source with knowledge of Mueller's letter.
"Now, you know, I think in the interest of the department he should step down, but I have no expectation that he will," Schiff said this morning.
He continued: "What we are seeing, I think, is that anyone that gets close to Donald Trump becomes tainted by that experience and the fundamental conundrum is how do you ethically serve a deeply unethical President?"