Tester to AG Barr on Trump report: “If there’s nothing in it, then release it”
Montana’s two U.S. senators are both calling for the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s two-year investigation into the Trump campaign, though one of them is losing patience with Attorney General William Barr.
Barr received the report last week but has not made it public. Sen. Jon Tester on Tuesday said Barr pledged to release the report during his nominating process before the Senate.
“I ultimately voted against him because I wasn’t sure he was going to do that, and guess what, he hasn’t done it,” Tester said during a media call. “This isn’t a Democrat thing or a Republican thing. What are you afraid of? If there is nothing in it, then release it so people can read it.”
Barr released a four-page summary of the report last week but has offered nothing more. Barr said the report cleared the Trump campaign of collusion with Russia and found insufficient evidence that the president committed obstruction of justice.
Tester said a four-page memo isn’t good enough.
“What he (Barr) said may be true and it may not be true, but let us make the decision,” Tester said. “I don’t want to know what the Attorney General thought it said. I want to read it so I can make my own decisions.”
On Tuesday, Democratic leaders in Congress also questioned Barr’s memo, saying his interpretation cannot be taken at face value, given his job to defend the president. Several Democratic chairmen sent Barr a letter demanding that the report be released next week.
Others have said they will call on Barr and Mueller to testify before Congress. Trump has said he plans to appoint an investigation into the source that sparked the special counsel two years ago.
“I believe the American people always deserve transparency in their government,” Tester said. “The Mueller report should be made publicly available immediately and released in full. Montanans and the American people deserve a complete view of what the special counsel found. I don’t know what tools are out there, but we’ll explore every one of them.”
Sen. Steve Daines issued a statement after Mueller released his report to the Attorney General. In it, Daines echoed what Barr said in his memo – that the special counsel found no evidence of conspiracy or collusion with Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
“I’m glad this investigation is concluded and look forward to having the report made public as (soon) as possible in accordance with the law and national security,” Daines stated.