WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement regarding Attorney General William Barr’s press conference and the release of the Mueller report:
“Now that we have seen the contents of the Mueller report, it is abundantly clear that Attorney General Barr’s actions several weeks ago and this morning were shockingly inappropriate and an abuse of his office. Barr misled the American people about the substance of this report while reciting the President’s preferred spin and favorite talking points. The Attorney General is supposed to act as the people’s lawyer, not the President’s PR lackey. It’s clear that Barr took President Trump’s admonition to his predecessor that ‘you were supposed to protect me’ as a job description, and this creates an incredibly dangerous precedent for the future.
“We are all still making our way through the report, but it’s already clear that it paints a very detailed and disturbing portrait of a President utterly obsessed with executing a massive cover-up and preventing the truth from coming out. There was a sophisticated attack on American democracy by a hostile superpower; extensive contacts between Trump’s people and the Russians; and a determined, if bumbling, effort to cover their tracks that included repeated unethical requests and actions by the President. Why? Why was Donald Trump so terrified that people might learn the truth? As Robert Mueller noted, there are many unanswered questions here that Congress can and should look into.”