Robert Mueller’s final report robbed Democrats of what they hoped would be a devastating blow to President Donald Trump. And, after defending the special counsel’s integrity for more than a year, they have little room to challenge his conclusion there was no conspiracy between Trump’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 election.
Yet, even before the special counsel’s 22-month probe ended, Democrats were already working under a Plan B to undermine Trump going into the 2020 presidential race, through investigations led by House committees now under their control.
“We’re going to move forward with our investigations of obstruction of justice, abuses of power, corruption, to defend the rule of law, which is our job,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said Sunday at a news conference in New York. “It’s a broader mandate than the special prosecutor had.”
The strategy poses risks for the Democrats, particularly if voters prove tired of talk of investigating Trump now that Mueller has completed his work. In addition, the probes could overshadow their agenda, particularly on issues like health care that helped the party take back the House in 2018.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the Mueller report a “two-year waste of taxpayer time and dollars” in an appearance Monday on NBC’s “Today” program. “We are all very glad it’s over and we can move forward and focus on things that really matter,” she said.
Within an hour of Attorney General William Barr delivering a summary of Mueller’s report to Congress, Nadler said his panel will call the attorney general to testify about “very concerning discrepancies and decisions at the department” in its interpretation of Mueller’s findings, particularly the decision not to pursue an obstruction of justice prosecution.
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