McConnell declares ‘case closed’ on Mueller probe

McConnell
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES/TNS
President Donald Trump speaks to the press alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as he arrives on Capitol Hill on March 26 before joining Senate Republicans for lunch in Washington, D.C.

BY CHRIS SOMMERFELDT
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/TNS

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared enough is enough Tuesday and urged Democrats to stop investigating President Donald Trump and his 2016 campaign, cherry-picking from special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to make his case.

In his most significant comments yet on the matter, the top Senate Republican contended Democrats are acting out of political spite in pursuing oversight of the Trump administration despite Mueller’s “exhaustive” investigation coming to an end without charges against the president.

“Case closed,” McConnell, R-Ky., said from the Senate floor. “This ought to be good news for everyone, but my Democratic colleagues seem to be publicly working through the five stages of grief.”

Echoing Trump, McConnell claimed Mueller’s final report released last month cleared the president and his campaign of criminally conspiring in Russia’s attack on the 2016 election.

SCHUMER RESPONDS

He pointed fingers at Democrats for supposedly doing Moscow’s bidding in continuing to “sow discord” and “create chaos” by picking up where Mueller left off.

“Given the left’s total fixation on delegitimizing the president — the president Americans chose — and shooting any messenger who tells them inconvenient truths, I’m afraid the Russians hardly needed to lift a finger,” McConnell said.

However, the majority leader stayed clear of addressing the second half of Mueller’s report, which focused on whether Trump obstructed the Russia probe.

The special counsel explicitly refused to clear Trump of obstruction.

Instead, he suggested Congress take action on that front and included 10 instances in the report of possible “corrupt” use of power by the president.

In his own speech from the floor minutes later, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., needled McConnell over brushing aside the obstruction question and accused him of “whitewashing” Mueller’s findings.

“It’s sort of like Richard Nixon saying ‘Let’s move on’ at the height of the investigation of his wrongdoing,” Schumer said. “Of course he wants to cover up. He wants to silence.”

PROSECUTORS’ LETTER CITED

Schumer referenced a letter — signed by more than 450 former federal prosecutors who served under both Democratic and Republican presidents — that argues Mueller’s evidence on obstruction warrants charges against Trump and the only reason he isn’t facing legal peril is because sitting presidents can’t be indicted under Justice Department guidelines.

“What we have here is a concerted effort to circle the wagons, to protect the president from accountability, to whitewash his reprehensible conduct by simply declaring it irrelevant,” Schumer said.

“The leader and Senate Republicans are falling down drastically on their constitutional duty to provide oversight and, I fear, to defend the national interest as well.”

McConnell’s speech, which is certain to please Trump, comes as the White House is stonewalling just about all Democratic oversight requests.

In its latest effort to block oversight, the White House ordered former counsel Don McGahn on Tuesday to not comply with a document request from the House Judiciary Committee.

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