WASHINGTON — House Democrats vowed on Friday to pursue the revelations in the special counsel’s report on President Trump but drew little Republican support in a nation still deeply polarized over the investigation that has dogged the White House for two years.
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena demanding that the Justice Department hand over an unredacted copy of Robert S. Mueller III’s report along with underlying evidence by May 1 and promised “major hearings” into its findings. And Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts became the most prominent Democrat to call for impeachment.
But most Republican lawmakers remained silent on the report, meaning any effort to force Mr. Trump from office faced long odds barring an unexpected change of political circumstances. The months to come may see more fireworks over the report, including a constitutional clash in court over releasing it in full, but privately some Democrats have concluded that the president’s fate will probably be decided at the ballot box next year.
While Mr. Trump had initially greeted the report as an exoneration, he spent at least part of the day in Florida stewing about disloyal aides who talked with investigators and sounded more defensive than celebratory. He expressed particular unhappiness over the report’s inclusion of granular accounts of his efforts to derail the investigation based on F.B.I. interviews and notes of his own advisers.
“Statements are made about me by certain people in the Crazy Mueller Report, in itself written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, which are fabricated & totally untrue,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. “Watch out for people that take so-called ‘notes,’ when the notes never existed until needed.”
“Because I never agreed to testify, it was not necessary for me to respond to statements made in the ‘Report’ about me, some of which are total bullshit & only given to make the other person look good (or me to look bad),” he went on. “This was an Illegally Started Hoax that never should have happened, a…”
At that point he stopped and did not finish the thought until eight hours later: “…big, fat waste of time, energy and money.” He went on to vow to go after his pursuers, whom he called “some very sick and dangerous people who have committed very serious crimes, perhaps even Spying or Treason.”
On the campaign trail, Democratic presidential candidates condemned the president’s conduct and called for action against him.
“The severity of this misconduct demands that elected officials in both parties set aside political considerations and do their constitutional duty,” said Ms. Warren, who is seeking the Democratic nomination. “That means the House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the president of the United States.”
In an era of deep polarization, Mr. Mueller’s 448-page report quickly became yet another case study in the disparate realities of American politics as each camp interpreted it through its own lens and sought to weaponize it against the other side.
The president’s defenders insisted he was cleared because even though Mr. Mueller confirmed a wide-ranging Russian effort to interfere in the 2016 election on Mr. Trump’s behalf, the special counsel established no criminal conspiracy with his campaign and opted not to decide whether to accuse the president of obstruction of justice. Mr. Trump’s critics called it a devastating indictment of a candidate willing to profit from the help of a foreign power and a president who repeatedly sought to disrupt or end the investigation even if he was not charged with violating the law.
Few Republicans expressed concern about Mr. Mueller’s findings, with most lawmakers out of town for the spring recess studiously avoiding comment. One of the exceptions was Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, who said he was “appalled” that the president’s campaign welcomed help from Russia.
“I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the president,” he said in a statement. “Reading the report,” he added, “is a sobering revelation of how far we have strayed from the aspirations and principles of the founders.”
Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, said the report “documents a number of actions taken by the president or his associates that were inappropriate,” but pointed to the conclusion by Attorney General William P. Barr and his deputy, Rod J. Rosenstein, that the evidence did not warrant charging Mr. Trump.
More typical among Republicans was the reaction of Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who has been working closely with the White House on the crisis in Venezuela. “We should ALL be alarmed at how effective Putin was & we should ALL be relieved, not disappointed, that President didn’t collaborate with him,” he tweeted.
Mr. Nadler asked for all evidence obtained by Mr. Mueller’s investigators, including summaries of witness interviews and classified intelligence — and indicated that he intended to air it to the public.
“Even the redacted version of the report outlines serious instances of wrongdoing by President Trump and some of his closest associates,” Mr. Nadler said in a statement. “It now falls to Congress to determine the full scope of that alleged misconduct and to decide what steps we must take going forward.”
The Justice Department dismissed the subpoena, saying that Mr. Barr had made “only minimal redactions” and offered to allow congressional leaders to view a version with even fewer deletions.
“In light of this, Congressman Nadler’s subpoena is premature and unnecessary,” said Kerri Kupec, a department spokeswoman. “The department will continue to work with Congress to accommodate its legitimate requests consistent with the law and long-recognized executive branch interests.”
Mr. Barr redacted about 10 percent of the report, blacking out information that would divulge secret grand jury evidence, expose classified intelligence, compromise continuing investigations, or invade the privacy or damage the reputation of “peripheral third parties.” Democratic leaders on Friday rejected Mr. Barr’s offer to show just select leaders a version with only the grand jury material redacted.
Mr. Nadler’s May 1 deadline falls a day before Mr. Barr is scheduled to testify publicly before the Judiciary Committee in what is expected to be an explosive session in which Democrats plan to excoriate his handling of the report and Republicans will urge their colleagues to accept that there was no criminality… continue reading: Mueller Report Does Nothing to Narrow a Vast Partisan Divide
That Tax break was with that much????!!!