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Mueller report: Arizona's congressional delegation reacts

Arizona Republic logo Arizona Republic 4/18/2019 Ronald J. Hansen and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez
Martha McSally smiling for the camera © Provided by Gannett Co., Inc.

Both sides struck predictable partisan stances as the public began to absorb the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into President Trump and Russian interference in the 2016 election. 

The Justice Department released the 448-page report Thursday morning and partisan side-taking quickly ensued. 

Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., praised Attorney General Bill Barr in a tweet and said it is clear that Russia had worked to interfere with the election. With the release of the redacted report, McSally wrote it was time for the country to move on.

"I am grateful for the utmost professionalism and diligence displayed by Attorney General Barr to release as much of the report as transparently as possible," McSally wrote. "What is clear is that the Russians sought to influence the 2016 election and sow discord in our country."

MORE:  Few Arizona ties mentioned in Mueller report on Russian interference 

She added: "Now it is incumbent upon us to come together to focus on issues that matter to Arizonans: creating more good-paying jobs, affordable and quality healthcare, supporting working families, providing veterans the benefits they deserve, and securing our border."

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., wanted to read the report before commenting.

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., accused Democrats and the media of attacking the president on baseless grounds. The five-term congressman and Trump loyalist continued to ridicule the investigation, the Democrats and the media.

"For two years Democrats and Fake News media mislead (sic) the American people with countless attacks on" Trump, he wrote. "Today, we once again can confirm that there is STILL no obstruction and STILL no collusion." 

As Attorney General William Barr spoke to reporters about the release of the report, Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., blasted Trump on Twitter. Gallego is an outspoken critic of Trump and the administration. 

"So the President can obstruct justice because he is a snowflake," Gallego wrote. "Great precedent we are setting." 

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Gallego apparently was commenting on Barr's suggestion that Trump reacted the way he did out of "sincere" anger and frustration.

"As the special counsel's report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the president was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks," Barr said.

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said in a video posted on Twitter that he is reading the Mueller report. Despite the president's "public displeasure" with the Mueller investigation, Biggs said, there was no basis for an obstruction charge. Biggs said Americans and Congress should "get back to work." 

In a tweet, Biggs distinguished the lack of evidence for collusion and the decision by Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to not pursue obstruction charges. 

Biggs wrote: "No collusion. No charges for obstruction. Now that the #MuellerReport is out, let's return to doing the business of the American people. Democrats must stop trying to undermine @POTUS @realDonaldTrump."

Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., called on Mueller to testify about his investigation and recommendations of no collusion before the House Judiciary Committee. 

Grijalva commented on Twitter in response to a message from Judiciary chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., that said Mueller has been requested to testify. 

"Since the Attorney General has clearly become the President’s defense attorney, Congress must receive the full report & Special Counsel Robert Mueller must testify before Congress and provide us with the full scope of his investigation, findings, and recommendations," Grijalva wrote. 

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., was critical of Barr's statements ahead of the report's release and suggested many questions remained unanswered.

"The findings in this report would be detrimental to any other President. As colorfully mentioned in the report, even Trump believed this would ‘end his presidency,’" Kirkpatrick wrote in a tweet. "Bottom line, Congress and the American people have more questions, we need to hear from Special Counsel Mueller before we draw any final conclusions."

Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., said it was time for the public to move past the investigation.

"Once again, today’s release of the Mueller report concludes that no Americans conspired with Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election," she said in a statement. "Despite Democrats’ repeated attempts to claim otherwise, the report confirms there was no collusion or obstruction by President Trump or members of his campaign."

Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., had not weighed in on the release of the report. 

Have news about national politics to share? Reach the reporters at ronald.hansen@arizonarepublic.com and yvonne.wingett@arizonarepublic.com.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Mueller report: Arizona's congressional delegation reacts

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