To the Editor,
As members of a coalition of progressive groups on the Eastern Shore, we were appalled by Congressman Andy Harris’ response to the Mueller report.
In a statement on his website, Congressman Harris makes it clear that he believes Attorney General William Barr’s assertion that “there was no collusion between President Trump and the Russian government, and there was no obstruction of justice.”
Attorney General Barr’s statements on this matter are not credible. He claimed in a press conference that the Trump administration cooperated with the Mueller investigation. But the Mueller report shows otherwise, citing Trump’s public attacks on the investigation, behind-the-scenes attempts to control it, and public and private attempts to encourage witnesses not to cooperate. The report also finds Trump’s own answers inadequate.
Contrary to Congressman Harris’ assertion, the Mueller report lays out in detail incontrovertible facts proving Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to the benefit of the Trump campaign but finds insufficient evidence to establish a conspiracy between the campaign and the Russian government.
Further, Part II of the Mueller report establishes substantial evidence (eleven instances) for a charge of obstruction of justice but notes that Department of Justice policy prevents bringing charges against a sitting president. He clearly leaves the matter in the hands of Congress. Included in these instances are:
- attempting to have the investigation stopped and Mueller fired,
- attempting to have the purpose of the investigation shifted to future attempts at election interference and away from the actions of his own campaign,
- attempting to prevent his personal lawyer Michael Cohen and White House Counsel Don McGahn, from cooperating with the investigation.
- the appointment as Attorney General of William Barr, who had made clear his own disapproval of the investigation—and indeed who proceeded to lie about the content of the report after receiving it.
Robert Mueller has made it clear that it is up to Congress to take action, and that includes our Representative Andy Harris, who gives no indication that he understands or believes the content of the Mueller report. Constituent calls to Representative Harris’ office asking whether he has read the report do not yield answers. We call upon the Congressman to acknowledge the fact that it was not appropriate for the President and his campaign to welcome and exhort Russian interference in our elections. Nor was it appropriate or even legal to so blatantly obstruct the investigation. Read the report. Do your job, Congressman Harris.
Kent and Queen Anne’s Indivisible
Together We Will Delmarva