WASHINGTON – The conclusions of the long-awaited report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller have many Republicans in Congress declaring victory for President Trump. But the four Republicans in Colorado’s congressional delegation so far have been more tempered – if not totally silent – in their responses.
The four-page summary of Mueller’s report into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election was submitted to lawmakers Sunday by Attorney General William Barr.
According to Barr, Mueller’s investigation did not find evidence that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference. Mueller also declined to draw a conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice, saying that while his report “does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Trump heralded the findings. “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!” the president wrote on Twitter Sunday.
His spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, labeled the Mueller probe a “two-year waste of taxpayer time and dollars,” speaking on NBC’s “Today” show on Monday.
Nationally, Trump’s allies also were quick to rally behind the president, portraying the entire exercise as a waste of time and money. Many Trump supporters in Congress have engaged in a social-media flurry of I-told-you-so’s about Mueller’s no-collusion finding and lashed out at Democrats for creating a “cloud of treason” surrounding the White House.
But in Colorado – a state where voters sent a fiercely blue mandate in November – the response among the three Republican members of the House has been more muted.
U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, has not tweeted anything in response to Barr’s memo summarizing Mueller’s findings, though the congressman greeted Friday’s news that it called for no new indictments as confirmation of “what most of us knew all along, that there was never any collusion with Russia.” He noted that he is especially interested in “the burden of cost” the Mueller investigation placed on taxpayers.
Colorado’s Republican senator, Cory Gardner, chimed in on Twitter, saying, “The public needs to be able to see as much of the report as possible.” He did not go so far as to say that the “full report” should be released. The ambiguity about just how much he thinks Congress and the public have a right to see have prompted a slew of social media attacks about Gardner’s support of Trump, including the president’s re-election campaign.
Robert Mueller led a fair and thorough investigation. The public needs to be able to see as much of the report as possible, but the principle findings reveal that the President & his team did not collude with the Russian gvt.
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) March 24, 2019
The report & Special Counsel indictments also confirm what we have known for some time, Russia did interfere in our election. Congress needs to continue our pressure on Russia & not let them go unpunished for these acts. I’ll continue to pursue more sanctions on the Putin regime.
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) March 24, 2019
For their part, Colorado’s Congressional Democrats are united in their calls for public disclosure of the full Mueller report.
The American people deserve to see the full Mueller report. We also need more information about the report’s findings on obstruction of justice and why the Attorney General chose not to pursue that charge.
— Michael Bennet (@SenatorBennet) March 24, 2019
U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Boulder, echoed those, calling for “full transparency.”
We need full transparency in what Special Counsel Mueller uncovered throughout his 22 month investigation, which is why the full report must be released. The American people deserve to know all of the facts, and the DOJ owes the public more than a brief synopsis.
— Rep. Joe Neguse (@RepJoeNeguse) March 24, 2019
U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, Jason Crow, D-Aurora, and Ed Perlmutter, D-Lakewood, all issued similar calls for full disclosure.
Perlmutter is among the many Democrats who seized on the obstruction of justice comments in the report to call for further investigations.
We need to see the full Mueller report and all underlying documents. AG Barr should make it publicly available as soon as possible. From what we know today, there are more unanswered questions and Congress has a responsibility to continue its investigations.
— Rep. Ed Perlmutter (@RepPerlmutter) March 25, 2019
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said he plans to call Barr in to testify before his committee “in light of the very concerning discrepancies and final decision making at the Justice Department following the Special Counsel report, where Mueller did not exonerate the President.” He plans to summon Barr “in the near future,” he wrote on Twitter. Both Neguse and Buck sit on that committee.
The U.S. House voted 420-0 earlier this month in support of a resolution to release the full Mueller report.
Sarah Sanders said on the “Today” show Monday that the president is leaving it up to Barr to decide whether to release the report. “I don’t think the president has any problem with” releasing the report, she said. “He’s more than happy for any of this stuff to come out because he knows exactly what did and what didn’t happen.”
Photo by Twitter Trends 2019, Flickr Creative Commons. Susan Greene contributed to this report.