Statement from House chairs: Now falls on Congress to assess Trump’s ‘corrupt and immoral conduct’

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Representative Elijah Cummings, Democrat of Maryland and Ranking Member on the House Select Committee on Benghazi, speaks to the media as Huma Abedin, longtime aide to former US Secretary of State and Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, speaks to the Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

In a highly unusual joint statement, the Democratic chairs of six House committees have issued a scathing appraisal of Trump’s actions as outlined in the Mueller report and of Attorney General Barr’s misrepresentations of that report.

Despite a series of statements and letters by Attorney General Barr which mischaracterized Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings – beginning with his four-page summary almost a month ago, his congressional testimony last week, and today’s misleading press conference – the Special Counsel’s report speaks for itself and explicitly does not exonerate the president. Attorney General Barr misrepresented important aspects of the Special Counsel’s findings and provided the White House advance access to the report.

“Taken as a whole, Mueller’s report paints a damning portrait of lies that appear to have materially impaired the investigation, a body of evidence of improper contacts with a foreign adversary, and serious allegations about how President Trump sought to obstruct a legitimate, and deeply important, counterintelligence investigation.

“We are profoundly troubled by the astonishing efforts by President Trump identified in the report to obstruct the investigation, including his attempts to remove the Special Counsel and encourage witnesses to lie and to destroy or conceal evidence. […]

[A]s the Special Counsel undoubtedly anticipated, it must fall to Congress to assess the President’s improper, corrupt and immoral conduct in an effort to obstruct the investigation.

The statement also asserts that Congress “must get the full report and the underlying evidence, including grand jury material, in order to perform our constitutional duties”.

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