PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Following the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report, the Rhode Island Congressional delegation is calling for the release of the full report to help connect the dots.
The 448-page report was delivered to members of Congress late Thursday morning – around the same time it was shared online.
According to the report, Mueller says investigators identified numerous links between members of President Donald Trump’s campaign and individuals with ties to the Russian government, however, there was no sufficient evidence to charge anyone for conspiring with Russia to influence the 2016 election.
In terms of obstruction, Mueller says they were unable to “conclusively determine that no criminal conduct occurred.” Attorney William Barr said he and Deputy General Rod Rosenstien later concluded that no obstruction took place.
Both Congressmen David Cicilline and Jim Langevin agree that the unredacted Mueller report needs to be released in order for them see the full picture.
“In light of his misleading attempt to spin the report this morning, it’s clear that the only reason Attorney General Barr has for keeping the full report from Congress is to protect the President,” Cicilline said in a statement.
Cicilline, who is on the Judiciary Committee, expects they will issue a subpoena for the full report.
Langevin said Congress needs more time to analyze the report before coming to a conclusion.
“It’s too early to say if anything in here is going to rise to the level of obstruction,” Langevin explained.
The report redacted 12 items that the Special Counsel referred to other law enforcement agencies for potential criminal activity.
According to Langevin, Mueller should testify before the Congress, House and Senate to help them better understand the findings. Barr said he is not opposed to Mueller testifying.
“It is imperative that the American people have an opportunity to hear the Special Counsel discuss his findings without further spin or interpretation from the Attorney General,” Langevin said in a statement.
Senator Jack Reed said the redacted report leaves many questions unanswered and the full report should be released as soon as possible.
“Congress has many responsibilities, including doing more to help those Americans hurt by the President’s so-called economic policies, but Congress also has a duty to the Constitution and to oversight,” Reed said in a statement. “Simply letting the President’s Attorney General release a partial report that was misleadingly summarized prior to its publication is unacceptable under any Administration.”
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said he’s unsure how to feel about the redacted report.
“Attorney General Barr’s performance regarding the report is a mixed bag,” Whitehouse said in a statement. “I have no reason to believe his redactions to the report were not made justifiably and in good faith. On the other hand he has over the past few weeks used his office to perform what I consider to be inappropriate PR services for the Trump White House: rosy summary language creating White House “spin” opportunities; delay in releasing the redacted report allowing the “spin” to set; and the deliberate use of inappropriate language feeding conspiracy theories favored by Trump, derogatory to DOJ agencies.”