United States Republican and Democratic lawmakers clashed sharply yesterday over the meaning of the newly completed report on Russian meddling, even as they waited to be briefed on its scope and contents.
President Donald Trump has yet to receive or be briefed on the findings of the Robert Mueller probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, a spokesman said from the Florida resort where Trump spent the weekend.
As at press time, the president was continuing a rare silence on Twitter about the matter. Yesterday marked his third day with no public comment on the investigation that he has blasted dozens of times as a “witch hunt.”
Many Democrats hoped the report would provide evidence to support a presidential impeachment and have pressed hard for its full public release. But Adam Schiff, the Democrat who chairs the House Intelligence Committee and another key Democrat, Jerry Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee insisted yesterday that they needed to see the full report before considering impeachment. Nadler noted that Mueller’s inquiry was “limited in scope and limited to crimes. What Congress has to do is look at a broader picture.”
Attorney General William Barr, who received the secret report on Friday, was expected to brief key members of Congress yesterday, though no announcement was made. Trump aides and supporters have seized on word from the Justice Department that the report will recommend no indictments, news that brought relief to some in Trump’s closest circle.
Republicans suggested yesterday that it was time for Democratic lawmakers to drop their own investigations and move on. Doug Collins, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, repeated Trump’s frequent insistence that “there was no collusion.”