Connecticut delegation joins call for special counsel to testify

Members of Connecticut's all-Democratic congressional delegation are adding to the chorus of Democratic voices calling on special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before Congress about his nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

A redacted version of Mueller's much-anticipated 448-page report was released publicly on Thursday by the Department of Justice.

"I want to see the full report and I want to see all the evidence underlying it, the documents and testimony, and I want to hear from Bob Mueller," U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., told reporters in Hartford.

Blumenthal held up a copy of the report, saying "as you can see there's a lot of black out. ... there are redactions here that are deeply troubling."

He said he'd only quickly reviewed the report, focusing mainly on the summary, and would have "some additional conclusions" after reviewing it "in great detail."

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., announced Thursday that he will issue a subpoena for Mueller's report, and asked him to testify in front of Congress. Attorney General William Barr said at his news conference that he had no objection to Mueller testifying.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said he agrees that Mueller should appear before Congress.

"He made some interesting decisions in the course of his investigation, including not compelling the president to testify," Murphy said.

Murphy said he doesn't anticipate having anything substantive to say about the report for a number of days while he reads through it and compares notes with his colleagues.

But, he said, members of Congress "can't come to any meaningful conclusions without seeing the full report."

While he said he agrees there are reasons to withhold some information from the public to protect sources and methods of intelligence, members of Congress have the clearance necessary to review this kind of sensitive information.

Reps. John Larson, D-1st District; Joe Courtney, D-2nd District; Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District; and Jahana Hayes, D-5th District, also issued statements asking to view the full, unredacted report.

Hayes was the only one to not explicitly say she wants Mueller to testify. She said in her statement that regardless of the report's results, Trump and his administration give "evidence" on a daily basis that there needs to be a change in leadership, but that "should come through an election rather than impeachment."

Patrick Malone, a spokesman for Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, said the congressman is in the process of reading the report and "absorbing as much as he can to create informed opinions on its implications."

"He strongly supports the release of an unredacted version to Congress and believes that Robert Mueller should testify to relevant committees," Malone said.

Larson, DeLauro and Courtney, in their statements, criticized Barr's characterization of the report and actions by the Trump administration.

"Despite Attorney General Barr's unprecedented attempt to frame this report in the best possible light for the President and his administration, the release of even the redacted version today makes clear that his 'initial summary' of Special Counsel Mueller's findings was misleading at best — and willfully distorted at worst," Courtney said.

Larson said, "Americans need Mueller's account on the record, and his analysis of the report and the conclusions that were reached, not just Attorney General Barr's narrative."

DeLauro, citing the fact that Mueller found 10 cases of possible obstruction by Trump, said "Despite Attorney General Barr's political spin, the Mueller report details multiple instances in which President Trump attempted to obstruct justice and end the Special Counsel's investigation. To quote Mueller and his team from Volume II of the report, 'if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.'"

j.bergman@theday.com

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