After the U.S. Attorney General’s summary of the Mueller report was made public Sunday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted it was “a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States.”
One prominent Democrat was not willing to make that statement. At least, not yet.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn issued a statement Sunday calling for the release of the full report submitted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller following his investigation of President Donald Trump and his campaign to see if there was collusion with Russia in the 2016 election, or if there was obstruction of justice.
In his statement, the Columbia Democrat said he wants more than just the summary of the Mueller report, which was issued Sunday by Attorney General William Barr.
“We should not construe a four-page letter from the attorney general with the complete findings of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation,” Clyburn said.
Unlike fellow South Carolina politician Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican who said it was a “great day for President Trump and his team,” Clyburn isn’t rushing to clear the president.
He wants more information, and he wants all of Congress and the United States to be equally informed.
“The entire findings of the report must be made public to Congress and the American people before we draw any conclusions,” Clyburn said.
For his part, the president has shown approval for making the Mueller report public, saying “let them see it,” on March 20, The Washington Post reported.
“Let people see it. That’s up to the attorney general ... and we’ll see what happens,” Trump said, according to the newspaper.
Barr made the decision to send a summary of the Mueller report to Congress Sunday.
The attorney general’s summary said it concluded Trump and his campaign did not collude with Russia.
On the issue of obstruction of justice, the report “does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” according to Barr’s summary.
Based on that, Barr and and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined no further charges should be filed, according to his summary to Congress.
Clyburn, one of the most powerful and influential members of that body, said he and his fellow representatives will fulfill their constitutional obligation of being a check on the executive branch of government.
“Congress will continue to fulfill its oath to uphold the constitution by providing oversight of this administration,” Cyburn’s statement said.
Clyburn has been a vocal critic of Trump. In a recent interview with NBC News, Clyburn called the president “and his family ‘the greatest threats to democracy of my lifetime,’ ” before comparing the current political climate to Nazi Germany.
“Adolf Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany. And he went about the business of discrediting institutions to the point that people bought into his stuff,” Clyburn said, NBC News reported. “Nobody would have believed it now. But swastikas hung in churches throughout Germany. We had better be very careful.”
Clyburn has previously said Trump was holding Americans hostage with the government shutdown, and that Russian leader Vladimir Putin has compromising material that he is using against the U.S. president, The State reported.