Democratic presidential candidates responded swiftly to the news Friday that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III had sent his long-awaited report on the Russia investigation to Attorney General William P. Barr: Make it public now.
Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) were among the first to urge Barr to release the full findings on Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by President Trump.
“This report should be made public immediately,” Booker said on Twitter.
“Attorney General Barr — release the Mueller report to the American public. Now,” Warren tweeted.
“Special counsel Mueller’s report should be made public without any delay. The American people have a right to know its findings,” Gillibrand wrote on Twitter.
Other congressional Democrats immediately added to the drumbeat of calls for the report to be made available for public consumption.
In a joint statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) went further, adding that Barr “must not give President Trump, his lawyers or his staff any ‘sneak preview’ of special counsel Mueller’s findings or evidence, and the White House must not be allowed to interfere in decisions about what parts of those findings or evidence are made public.”
“The American people have a right to the truth. The watchword is transparency,” they wrote.
Republicans, meanwhile, pointed to the development that Mueller had not recommended any further indictments in his final report, according to a senior Justice Department official, as backing up Trump’s contention of no collusion between his presidential campaign and Russians.
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the No. 2 House Republican, said, “The reports that there will be no new indictments confirm what we’ve known all along: There was never any collusion with Russia.”
Other congressional Republicans urged patience to allow Barr to digest Mueller’s findings and urged transparency, but not necessarily a full release.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Barr “needs the time” to review it.
“The attorney general has said he intends to provide as much information as possible,” McConnell said. “As I have said previously, I sincerely hope he will do so as soon as he can, and with as much openness and transparency as possible.”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said he will work “to ensure as much transparency as possible, consistent with the law.”
Reactions from other would-be challengers to Trump reiterated calls to publicize the report.
Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), another presidential candidate, called for Barr to testify “under oath about the investigation and its findings, and provide all underlying materials to the appropriate congressional committees.”
“This is about securing American democracy and protecting voters’ confidence in our elections and our system of government,” Harris said.
Additionally, Harris’s campaign emailed supporters an online petition to “demand” that Barr release the report and testify about it.
Beto O’Rourke tweeted: “Release the Mueller report to the American people.”
And in a statement, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) quoted Trump, who said this week that the public should see the report.
“As Donald Trump said, ‘Let it come out.’ I call on the Trump administration to make Special Counsel Mueller’s full report public as soon as possible,” Sanders said. “No one, including the president, is above the law.”