East Tennessee politicians reacted Thursday to the release of the Mueller report by the U.S. Department of Justice into Russian meddling and possible collusion in the 2016 election.
“The left is going to say it proves something and the right is going to say it proves something,” said Rep. Tim Burchett, the first-term Republican congressman, and former Knox County mayor who represents the 2nd Congressional District. “The reality is, the bottom line is, there is no collusion by any Americans. That includes the President and that includes Hillary Clinton. I hope we can put this to rest and get back to doing the people’s business.
“Early on, I said I’ve been for open government. It’s best, sometimes it’s painful, but it’s the best way to do business. That’s why people don’t trust us because we get up there and we start making rules for other people that don’t apply to others.
“To me, that’s just ridiculous, Burchett continued. “That’s not what we’re supposed to be doing and that’s why I voted to release it. I think the vote was 420 to nothing. Early on, there was a lot of talking back and forth in their caucus and our caucus, should we do this and do that, They asked me early on, I said there’s no argument. release the dadgum report.”
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“Robert Mueller is a respected prosecutor. He has determined that the president did not collude with Russia during the 2016 election,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. “Attorney General Barr has released as much of Mueller’s report as he legally and appropriately can. It is time for both sides to stop hyperventilating over the Mueller investigation and focus on reducing health care costs and making a college education worth it for students.”
Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., said: “I am very pleased Attorney General Barr made the final report publicly available, while protecting sensitive information. I have said it before and will say it again: sunlight is the best disinfectant. The American people have been waiting nearly two years for Special Counsel Mueller to finish his investigation into Russian election meddling and for him to submit his report to the Attorney General, and I believe they deserve to know what was in the report.
“The good news is even after costing taxpayers $25 million; after using 19 lawyers, 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants and other professional staff; after issuing 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants and 50 orders of pen registers; and after conducting 500 witness interviews, there was still no evidence of collusion. I hope with the public release of his report Congress can get back to working with the president on policies that benefit all Americans.”
Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, a Republican who represents Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District, said, “After two years of investigation, thousands of subpoenas, and hundreds of interviews we once again come to the conclusion that there was no collusion. Furthermore, we know that Russian meddling in our election was an effort to sow uncertainty in our democracy and was furthered by Democrats’ false narrative and personal vendetta against the President.
“Today, the Special Counsel’s report was released to Congress but it is abundantly clear that Democrats are steadfast in their effort to prolong their dog and pony show of taxpayer-funded investigations regardless of the Special Counsel’s findings. There was no collusion, but there is a crisis at our southern border. I plan to spend my time addressing this national emergency and other challenges facing our nation.”
Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a Republican representing the 4th Congressional District, said “This investigation has been a political one from the start, which makes it all the more remarkable that a team of mostly Hillary Clinton supporters could produce no evidence for her claim that Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.
“There was no obstruction. The truth about the President’s victory is that he and Republicans have a positive vision for our country’s future.
“Tennesseans want a growing economy, national security, and justice,” DesJarlais said. “We want to know more about the Clinton Campaign’s and the Obama Administration’s abuse of intelligence agencies to harm a political opponent. I’m working to make sure it never happens again.”