The Senate majority leader said he wants Democrats to move on from the two-year Russia investigation, arguing the conclusion is ‘good news’ for the country.
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER Mitch McConnell on Tuesday urged his Democratic colleagues to move on after the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller‘s two-year Russia investigation, declaring “case closed.”
In a speech from the Senate floor, the Kentucky Republican said Mueller became a “secular saint” for Democrats “destined to rescue the country from the inconvenient truth” that President Donald Trump was elected. McConnell mocked Democrats for “working through the five stages of grief” since last month’s release of the 448-page redacted report.
McConnell lashed out at the “baseless accusations of perjury” against Attorney General William Barr as well as the talk among some Democrats of pursuing impeachment of Trump. Barr came under fire after a letter surfaced that Mueller complained about the attorney general’s four-page memo on the investigation’s findings.
Barr has defended his memo and said that Mueller told him that there weren’t any inaccuracies. But since the emergence of that letter, a growing number of Democrats, including those running for president in 2020, have called on the attorney general to resign.
McConnell used a large part of his floor speech to condemn Russia’s actions in the 2016 election. Mueller’s report detailed Russian efforts to launch a disinformation campaign on social media. The senator also argued that Democrats previously disregarded Russia as a threat, including when then-President Barack Obama mocked his 2012 GOP opponent Mitt Romney for calling the country the U.S.’s biggest geopolitical threat.
Mueller’s report concluded that Russia and Trump’s campaign didn’t conspire in the 2016 election. And while the special counsel couldn’t conclude Trump committed a crime, it also didn’t exonerate him on obstruction of justice.
While Republicans are looking to move past the investigation, Democrats are continuing to ramp up their efforts to get their hands on the full, unredacted report.
The House Judiciary Committee will vote Wednesday on holding Barr in contempt for defying a subpoena to release the entire Mueller report.
It remains unclear if Mueller plans to testify before Congress. In a reversal, Trump said this week that he doesn’t believe the special counsel should appear.
In his own floor speech, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer pushed back on McConnell’s speech to move on from the investigation.
“So our leader says let’s move on. It’s sort of like Richard Nixon saying let’s move on at the height of the investigation of his wrongdoing,” the New York Democrat said Tuesday. “He doesn’t want to move on. He wants to run away from these awful facts that relate to the wellspring of our democracy – foreign interference in our election and a president who is lawless.”