Rep. Heck on Mueller Report: This ‘isn’t over by a long, long shot’
Washington State Congressmember Denny Heck had two surprises when the highly anticipated Mueller Report was released Thursday, in redacted form.
“The first was, frankly, how out of sync with the report’s actual contents did I find Attorney General Barr’s characterization of it in the press conference that preceded it,” Heck told KIRO Radio’s Mike Lewis.
“…The second thing, however … was the number of investigations that have been spun out of Mueller’s team’s work – 14, about which we know nothing,” he said. “These are investigations to regional US attorneys that presumably fell outside director Mueller’s criminal investigation, as to conspiracy with Russia. But the sheer number of them suggest a breadth and depth yet to be revealed that is surprising to me. This thing isn’t over by a long, long shot.”
Heck further argues that Trump knew Russia was working in his favor while he was campaigning for president.
“What the report did … is reaffirm that Russia interfered (with the 2016 election),” Heck said. “They did so to benefit candidate Trump. Candidate Trump knew it, welcomed it, benefited from it, and encouraged it along the way — indeed he called out and asked for it. And whether or not that rises to the level of provable criminal conspiracy, frankly, I think ought to concern all Americans.”
The Congress member told KIRO Radio that it appears that Trump did attempt to obstruct justice — 10 times — but his attempts failed. He said that that the Mueller investigation couldn’t recommend indicting a sitting president. That doesn’t mean the issue is settled, Heck said.
“With this evidence, this is now in the hands of Congress,” Heck said. “And I think it is pretty compelling and disturbing, in that regard.”
There are two steps for Congress, he said. The first is to thoroughly read the entire 448 page report.
“I’m going to read it, cover to cover,” he said. “And I strongly encourage every American to go online and read this.”
“The second step that I’m looking forward to is actually to hear from Director Mueller,” Heck said. “We have the report. That’s like having the sheet music without having ever heard the song. In fact, we’ve never heard Bob Mueller’s voice in his two year investigation … so the efforts in Congress to actually bring him before them to explain and answer questions about the report, I think is a very constructive one and it would be a constructive part of the American conversation that I hope will happen.”
The end goal, according to the Congress member, is fully understanding how Russia interfered with the 2016 election and how to prevent it from happening again.
“We have reason to believe that (Mueller) uncovered counter-intelligence information that was not necessarily a part of his narrower report focused on criminal conspiracy, that would benefit us in preparing ourselves for these kinds of attacks from Russia …” Heck said. “I’m more worried that we don’t do what we can to protect ourselves than what the political implication is for this candidate or that candidate.”