WASHINGTON – Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning, NY-23) continued his support of President Donald Trump Wednesday when it comes to the Mueller Report.
Last Thursday a redacted version of special investigator Robert Mueller’s report was made public. The bottom line of the report largely tracked the findings revealed in Attorney General William Barr’s four-page memo released last month. It said there was no collusion with Russia in that country’s meddling of the 2016 Presidential Election and no clear verdict on obstruction, although several examples of the administration not cooperating with investigators was also outlined.
But while Mueller stopped short of saying definitively that obstruction charges should be brought forward, he also indicated that such charges could be brought forward by Congress, not the Justice Department.
Last week Reed – who’s in the minority of the House since Democrats took over following the 2018 midterm elections – put out a statement upon the release of the report, saying it clearly showed there was no collusion and it’s now time to move on.
“Today the Mueller report was released, but the result remains the same — no Russian collusion. This should be celebrated,” Reed’s statement read on Thursday. “Now it is time for our country to heal because all politics all the time is tearing our country apart and hurting real people. We must end this culture of division and work together on policies to help people.”
Reed’s statement made no mention of obstruction.
During a Conference call Wednesday with regional media, WRFA asked Reed his thoughts about the issues of obstruction that were found within the report and whether or not congress had an obligation to investigate.
“I understand my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, who are more interested in political motivations and overturning the election of 2016 with an impeachment proceeding, they’re going to continue this narrative on the obstruction charge. That’s their prerogative and their right do so. But I don’t believe that’s going to be productive. I think the report was very clearly given Mueller’s conclusion and Attorney General Barr’s conclusion that obstruction and collusion is just not there. If you’re going to focus on this obstruction and impeachment as your priority in Congress, the American people are going to reject that,” Reed responded.
Later in the interview Reed was pressed about the Mueller report actually finding ten examples of obstruction and that it was Congress, not the justice department, that should investigate.
“Congress doing oversight in regards to make sure the executive branch is held responsible, I have no objection with that, but to bring impeachment charges and overturn the will of the people that many of the folks in Congress want to do with the obstruction situation is just, to me, not prioritizing what the American people want us to focus on, and that’s problems their facing on a day-to-day basis,” Reed said.
Reed’s comments come as his Democratic colleagues in the house, who currently hold the majority, have pushed to further investigate the obstruction issue with some even say it’s time to begin impeach proceedings, although House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stopped short on calling for those proceedings to begin.