Minnesota delegation reacts to Mueller report

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Members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation have been weighing in on the release of the redacted Mueller report. Not surprisingly, their reaction is split along party lines.

Prior to releasing the report Thursday Attorney General William Barr told reporters he had “no objection” to special counsel Robert Mueller testifying before Congress. That’s precisely what Democrats are demanding. Republicans say it’s time to move on.

“I want to be able to ask Mr. Mueller, who is a former Republican-appointed FBI director, about what happened with this investigation,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaking with reporters in Iowa Thursday.

Klobuchar, one of many Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls, says Congress needs to know more about the report’s findings that President Trump repeatedly tried to block the Mueller investigation.

“The most important thing is that Bob Mueller come before Congress so the public can see him answer questions so that we can get to the bottom of why there is this difference between his interpretation of the law and the attorney general of the United States,” she said.

MPR News asked all eight members of the U.S. House from Minnesota along with the state’s two U.S. Senators for their reaction to the report. Not all of them responded.

“I want to hear directly from Robert Mueller,” said Democratic Sen. Tina Smith.

Like Klobuchar, Smith said Barr is acting more like the president’s personal attorney than the nation’s attorney general. She said Barr has been mischaracterizing the Mueller report by downplaying obstruction of justice concerns.

“In this report there is ample evidence of attempts by the president to obstruct the investigation.”

Smith and Klobuchar also both say the Russian interference in the 2016 election outlined in the report should be taken very seriously as the nation prepares for the next year’s presidential election.

On the Republican side, 1st District Rep. Jim Hagedorn issued a statement saying Democrats should move on from what he’s calling a $25 million politically motivated investigation.

Sixth District Rep. Tom Emmer, who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee, the GOP effort to win back control of the House in 2020, tweeted.

But Democrats showed few signs of moving on.

Fourth District Rep. Betty McCollum said the report shows Trump did everything he could to thwart the Mueller probe. She said Congress needs the full report and to hear from key sources.

“Some of the president’s counsel and staff resigned–resigned–rather than carry out orders that they knew were contrary to what should be happening in a democracy and under this constitution.”

McCollum also said the report underscores that lawmakers need to better protect the integrity of U.S. elections.

Second District Democratic Rep. Angie Craig issued a statement saying , “Congress should be provided with the full, unredacted report to fully understand how we prevent future foreign interference in a U.S. election.”

Third District Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips agreed. He too said Congress needs the full report and to hear from its author.

“It’s clear that the president tried to influences the Russia probe in a handful of ways,” Phillips said. “It’s clear that while the report and Mr. Mueller, the special counsel, didn’t identify specific collusion, he clearly did not exonerate the president.”

In a tweet, Democrat Ilhan Omar also called for Mueller to appear before Congress.

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