Washington — A Justice Department official told CBS News it will take weeks, not months, for Attorney General William Barr to make additional information available about special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his nearly two-year investigation. The White House has not received an advance copy of the report.
President Trump sees Barr’s letter to Congress summarizing the Mueller report as complete vindication. The special counsel determined there was no collusion with Russia in the 2016 election, and Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein found the president had not obstructed justice.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a staunch ally of Mr. Trump, has called for an investigation into the origin of the Mueller probe.
“I’d like to find somebody, like a Mr. Mueller, that can look into what happened with the FISA warrants, the counterintelligence investigation. Am I right to be concerned?” Graham told reporters on Monday.
Democrats, meanwhile, remain unconvinced by Barr’s four-page summary of Mueller’s investigation.
“We don’t need an interpretation by an attorney general who is appointed for a particular job, to make sure the president is above the law. We need to see the report,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Tuesday.
Although Barr is expected to release more information from the report in the coming weeks, Democrats have vowed to subpoena both Mueller and Barr and compel them to testify before Congress.
Follow our live coverage for updates throughout the day.
Rashia Tlaib pushes forward with impeachment resolution
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Michigan, the first-term lawmaker who has vowed, in colorful language, to “impeach” Mr. Trump, is circulating a proposed resolution that calls on the House Judiciary Committee to determine whether President Trump committed any impeachable offenses in the wake of the release of the Mueller report. She began circulating the text of her proposal Monday evening.
A spokesman confirmed to CBS News that she’s doing so, but wouldn’t comment on the number of cosponsors she expects to draw. Members have until today to add their name as a cosponsor to the resolution. Below is a copy of the letter Tlaib sent to her colleagues:
The actions of President Trump before he was officially sworn in as President of United States is currently being investigated by the Southern District of New York and much of it is part of the completed report by independent investigator, Robert Mueller.
However, the most dangerous threat to our democracy is President Trump’s actions since taking the oath of office. The fact that President Trump has yet to comply with various clauses of our U.S. Constitution sets a dangerous precedent. Much of the allegations have yet to be fully investigated by this body who also took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. It is critical that we protect the American people and our country from any conflicts of interests that directly erodes our democracy.
The Resolution directs the House Committee on Judiciary to inquire whether President Trump committed impeachable offenses. Congress can provide an open and transparent process with the sole goal of ensuring we know the truth and make sure it does not continue, nor happen again.
I, firmly, believe that the House Committee on Judiciary should seek out whether President Trump has committed “High crimes and Misdemeanors” as designated by the U.S. Constitution and if the facts support those findings, that Congress begin impeachment proceedings. We think the House Committee on Judiciary should inquire about the following and decide:
Whether the actions of President Trump and his businesses violate the Foreign Emoluments Clause. Through President Trump’s businesses in the United States and abroad, the president has received payments, regulatory approval, and other forms of direct and indirect financial benefits from foreign governments.
Whether President Trump committed crimes to defraud the United States by directing Michael Cohen to make illegal payments to interfere and affect the 2016 Presidential election, which has eroded faith in elections and perpetuated political corruption.
Whether the Special Counsel’s evidence on obstruction of justice pertaining to the President’s actions and intents violates federal law.
We all swore to protect our nation, and that begins with making sure that no one, including the President of the United States, is acting above the law. I urge your support in recommending that the House Committee on Judiciary begin hearings, take depositions, and issue subpoenas to answer this question that is fundamental to the rule of law and the preservation of our democracy.”
-Reporting by Ed O’Keefe
Trump questions whether DOJ was tipping the scales
Mr. Trump, asked on Tuesday on Capitol Hill about Sen. Lindsey Graham’s call for a second special counsel to investigate the origins of the Mueller probe, reiterated he wants to see “how this all started.”
“Those in charge on Capitol Hill will be watching,” the president said. “But let’s see how this all started. Did we have top people at Justice trying to skip the scales to keep Trump from being elected.”
On Monday, Graham told reporters, “I’d like to find somebody, like a Mr. Mueller, that can look into what happened with the FISA warrants, the counterintelligence investigation. Am I right to be concerned? It seems pretty bad on its face — but there are some people that are never going to accept the Mueller report, but by any reasonable standard, Mueller thoroughly investigated the Trump campaign. You cannot say that about the other side of the story.”
Pelosi: Impeachment is not on the table until it is on the table
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, asked if she has a message for members of her caucus who still might want impeachment to be on the table after Barr’s summary, expressed caution.
“Well I think that we want — right now the message should be clearly, ‘Let us see this report.’ I have great respect for special counsel Mueller, but let us see the report. We don’t need an interpretation by an attorney general who is appointed for a particular job, to make sure the president is above the law. We need to see the report. So that’s my message to our members.”
When a reporter asked to clarify if impeachment is off the table, she said, “Impeachment’s not on the table until it is on the table, so it’s not a question of that. This is not about that, this is about us doing our work. Today we’re introducing our health care bill, tomorrow we’ll be doing climate. It’s about building infrastructure in a green way. It’s about clean government. We’re on our agenda, we’ve been doing what we said we were gonna do in the campaign, and that’s what we’re doing. So in addition to that, we are honoring our oath to uphold the constitution of the United States, and we need to see the report so that we can do that. Thank you.”
Top Democrats give Barr April 2 deadline to release full report
Citing the need to make their own “independent assessment,” the chairs of the House Judiciary, Oversight, Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, Ways and Means and Financial Services committees asked the attorney general to release Mueller’s full report and material from his investigation by early next week.
In their letter to Barr, released Monday evening, Reps. Jerry Nadler, Elijah Cummings, Adam Schiff, Eliot Engel, Richard Neal and Maxine Waters said the attorney general’s summary of the Mueller probe was not “sufficient” for Congress and left “open many questions concerning the conduct of the President and his closest advisors, as well as that of the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election.”
The House chairs, who have launched their own sweeping probes into the president’s conduct, policies and business dealings since retaking the majority, gave Barr an April 2 deadline to comply with their demand.
Barr may be open to testifying publicly, however. He told Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham on Monday he would be glad to appear before Congress, Graham said Monday.
Read the full letter here:
The Mueller Report: A Turning Point
Special counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election for nearly two years and Sunday, America finally learned at least some of his findings: In a letter to congressional leaders, Attorney General William Barr quotes the report as saying, “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
But there are still many unanswered questions. Mueller didn’t make a determination as to whether Mr. Trump obstructed the investigation, but Barr said there was insufficient evidence to establish that the president committed obstruction of justice. Democratic lawmakers continue to investigate, and say the full report must be made public.
Why was the special counsel appointed? And why did American voters and elected officials alike come to question if the president of the United States colluded with a foreign government?
Watch the CBS News special “The Mueller Report: A Turning Point” to find out more.