Mueller report: Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke respond to Trump investigation

Clark Mindock

Democratic presidential candidates have issued calls for transparency over the findings of the Mueller report, and made it clear they believe Donald Trump is guilty of wrongdoing.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report was delivered to the Justice Department on Friday and is now in the hands of attorney general William Barr.

The report’s submission sparked a frenzy of speculation about what it might contain, even though virtually nothing was released to the public except the special counsel’s recommendation of no new further indictments.

But, as Democratic hopefuls stopped in diners and at college campuses around the country over the weekend, the lack of details did not stop the candidates from making bold claims.

“It is beyond a shadow of doubt that, once in office, the president of the United States sought to obstruct justice,” former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke said during a campaign stop in South Carolina. “First, by firing the principal investigator into what had happened in the 2016 election and then, in the light of day, tweeting at his attorney general to stop the Russia investigation.”

Mr O’Rourke joined his fellow candidates, senators Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders in demanding that the results of the investigation be made public.

Ms Harris, a former prosecutor from California, vowed that she would work to ensure that Mr Trump does not get a free pass should she become president.

“I know and will know and do know how to prosecute the case against Donald Trump,” Ms Harris said during a campaign stop in Texas.

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders also made a somewhat veiled threat to the president, saying during a campaign stop in California that Mr Trump would be brought to justice if it were determined that he broke the law.

“Nobody, including the president of the United States, is above the law,” Mr Sanders said.

Mr Barr must now determine how much of the Mueller report will be handed over to congress, where Democrats have already indicated they will fight for full transparency in the process.

Congress is among several institutions with ongoing investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and all indicators point to the Democratically controlled House using the report findings to inform their investigations.

Other institutions with ongoing investigations include prosecution teams in the Southern District of New York and in Washington.