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"House and Senate Democrats reacted with fury to Attorney General William Barr’s rollout of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Thursday, accusing him of acting more like the personal attorney for President Donald Trump than the nation’s top law enforcement officer."
"In a 22-minute press conference, Barr repeatedly defended Trump, using talking points that Democrats said could have been written by the White House.
press conference ahead of the release of the 400-page report — a move that had already prompted fierce backlash among Democrats on Capitol Hill. Barr repeated the “no collusion” line three more times, as well as stating Mueller “did not find any conspiracy to violate U.S. law involving Russia-linked persons and any persons associated with the Trump campaign.”
"Democrats reacted with shock and rage, questioning why the attorney general would even hold the event hours before the report was released to Congress and the public.
“Now that President @realDonaldTrump's campaign press conference is over: It's time for Congress and the American public to see the #MuellerReport,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) wrote on Twitter.
Added Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "AG Barr has confirmed the staggering partisan effort by the Trump Admin to spin public’s view of the #muellerreport – complete with acknowledgment that the Trump team received a sneak preview," Pelosi tweeted."
"It’s more urgent than ever that Special Counsel Mueller testify before Congress," she said.
In his statement to reporters, Barr was adamant in his defense of Trump, saying the president faced an “unprecedented situation” and acted with the “sincere belief” that Mueller’s probe was undermining his presidency.
“Criminal acts are still criminal even if you're ‘frustrated’ when you commit them,” Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), a Judiciary member and former police chief, tweeted in response.
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), another member of the Judiciary panel, added that Barr was acting as "the president's personal attorney rather than as the highest-ranking law enforcement official in the nation."
Within minutes after Barr’s press conference, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to Mueller officially requesting he appear before the panel “no later than May 23, 2019.”
“We cannot take Attorney General Barr's word for it,” Nadler said in a tweet accompanying the letter. “We must read the full Mueller report, and the underlying evidence. This is about transparency and ensuring accountability.”
"Barr will testify before the House Judiciary panel on May 2, a day after he is scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary."
Several Democrats vying to take on Trump in 2020 were also quick to rip Barr after his press conference wrapped.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said Barr was "undermining the independence of this entire process" by trying to "spin" the report before its actual release. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said the press conference was "outrageous," adding she's "deeply disturbed" by Barr's actions.
And Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said the press conference was a "stunt, filled with political spin and propaganda."
"It's a disgrace to see an Attorney General acting as if he's the personal attorney and publicist for the President of the United States," tweeted Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
Barr said Thursday that he will allow select members of Congress to view most of the unredacted report — save for federal grand jury information — in a secure location "subject to appropriate safeguards."
"But that answer has not been satisfying for top Democrats, including Nadler, who have said lawmakers have a right to the full unredacted report, including grand jury information.
Nadler is expected to issue a subpoena as soon as Friday or Monday for the full report. But fellow Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said Thursday that the House Judiciary chairman should move to force the information as fast as possible given Barr's insistence on shielding that part of the probe.
"I have great respect for you and your leadership particularly on the Yemen War Powers Resolution," Khanna said in a tweet directed at Nadler. "Now is the time to act for the sake of our nation."
Even before Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein held the Thursday morning press conference, Democrats were blasting the move as a partisan attempt to spin the report in the best light and protect the president.
In an early morning statement, Schumer and Pelosi (D-Calif.) criticized Barr’s “partisan handling” of the report and has “resulted in a crisis of confidence in his independence and impartiality,” they wrote. The only remedy, Pelosi and Schumer said, was for Mueller to testify in the House and Senate “as soon as possible.”
"Republicans, meanwhile, celebrated the formal conclusion of the nearly two-year investigation into the White House. They argue that Mueller has cleared Trump of any claims of wrongdoing — before they’ve seen the full report and even as Barr acknowledged 10 instances of potential obstruction of justice by the president.
“No collusion. No obstruction,” tweeted Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. “No cover up when there’s nothing to cover up.”
Nancy Pelosi D, has already had her news media camera outlet time, today earlier.