Members of Oregon’s congressional delegation are reacting to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative report released Thursday morning. Statements are falling along party lines.
Oregon Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley called Attorney General William Barr’s actions in Thursday morning’s press conference, and in the weeks leading up to the report’s release, “inappropriate and an abuse of his office.”
“The Attorney General is supposed to act as the people’s lawyer, not the President’s PR lackey,” Merkley said. “It’s clear that Barr took President Trump’s admonition to his predecessor that ‘You were supposed to protect me’ as a job description, and this creates an incredibly dangerous precedent for the future.”
In regard to the Mueller report itself, Merkley said he and his staff are still making their way through it.
“It’s already clear that it paints a very detailed and disturbing portrait of a president utterly obsessed with executing a massive cover-up and preventing the truth from coming out,” he said. “As Robert Mueller noted, there are many unanswered questions here that Congress can and should look into.”
Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River, asserted in a statement that the report “confirms what we already knew from Attorney General Barr’s summary: President Trump and his campaign did not collude with the Russian government.”
“I supported making sure Mr. Mueller had the unfettered ability and resources to conduct a thorough investigation, which he did. I supported releasing as much of the report as allowed by law, which the attorney general has done,” Walden said. “Now, it’s time for the partisans to move on and for Congress to get to work on issues such as border security and immigration reform."
Democratic U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden had not released an official statement as of late Thursday morning but was tweeting throughout the morning about Barr’s press conference and the Mueller report.
“AG Barr proved beyond a doubt he is here to defend Trump at all costs, facts be damned,” Wyden tweeted. “This kind of spin is unworthy of an Attorney General.”
He also called for Congress to be able to view the investigative report, unredacted.
“[T]he materials must be provided to Congress so that members and staff can review them and provide a check on the abuse of the redaction process,” Wyden said. “No one should have to trust [Barr’s] word when it comes to the special counsel’s report.”
Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer also took to social media to share his thoughts on the report.
"The Mueller report points out that it is the job of Congress, not AG Barr or Trump, to conduct an investigation and determine if the president obstructed justice," Blumenauer tweeted. "Anything less than that is an affront to our democracy and our oath to uphold the Constitution."