Indiana delegation seeks transparency during Mueller report review


Two members of Indiana’s congressional delegation aim for more transparency around a years-long special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and alleged obstruction of justice, but one senator says it is time to “move on.”

Indiana Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Gary, and Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., both said they’d encourage more transparency from Attorney General William Barr and the Department of Justice as it reviews a report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., said now that he investigation is complete, people should accept the report’s findings and “move on.”

Mueller on Friday sent the final report of his nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian entities, and potential obstruction of justice.

Barr sent a four-page letter to Congress summarizing the special counsel’s findings on Sunday, which did not find the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government but did not make a determination on whether actions by President Trump constituted obstruction of justice.

“I am grateful for the serious and dedicated work of Mr. Mueller and his entire investigative team,” Visclosky said in a statement. “As we move forward, I will continue to carefully monitor the ongoing Congressional investigations and work to ensure that Congress and the American public can fully assess the complete special investigation report."

Braun, the freshman Republican senator from Evansville, noted that the report is being reviewed by Barr and the Department of Justice.

In a statement, Braun said “Attorney General Barr has said that he will provide as much transparency as he can that is consistent with the law, which I support because Americans deserve as much openness as possible regarding this important report.”

Barr said, in the letter, his review of the report is ongoing.

“I have always said that Robert Mueller’s investigation should run its course,” Young said in a statement. “With the investigation now complete, it’s time to accept his findings and move on.

“There has clearly been Russian interference in our democratic process, and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will continue its work to better understand these threats,” Young said.

The attorney general’s letter said the full report is “confidential” but Barr did want to describe the report and summarize the findings.

“The special counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” Barr said in his letter to Congress. “The report states: ‘The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,’”

As for potential obstruction of justice, Barr said Mueller and his team “describe the facts” of the investigation but did not reach any legal conclusions. Barr said Mueller’s report “does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

Barr said he and the Department of Justice reviewed the findings and that the evidence in the report is “not sufficient to establish that the president committed and obstruction of justice offense.”