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Casey, Toomey echo parties in Mueller report response

Rebecca Klar
York Dispatch
In a 2013 file image, former FBI director Robert Mueller attends the ceremonial swearing-in of FBI Director James Comey at the FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/CNP/Prensa Internacional/Zuma Press/TNS)

The highly anticipated report by special counsel Robert Muller indicating Russian interference in the 2016 election was released Thursday, but the findings don't seem to have done much in the way of shifting partisan opinion. 

By and large, congressional Republicans stood behind Attorney General William Barr's "no collusion" summary of the report's probe into President Donald Trump's campaign. Meanwhile, Democrats demanded the release of redacted information and questioned Barr's credibility. 

Pennsylvania's U.S. senators — Democrat Bob Casey and Republican Pat Toomey — mirrored the takes of their respective parties. 

"While examining the Mueller report and the underlying evidence will be vital, it will not change what we already know: Russia attacked our election in 2016, President Trump and his closest aides and allies welcomed that attack and then, we know from the public record, that President Trump made a series of statements and appeared to engage in conduct that interfered with a fair and independent investigation," U.S. Sen. Bob Casey said in a statement.

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) speaks to the York Dispatch Editorial Board in West Manchester Township, Thursday, April 5, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

"The actions we know that President Trump, his aides and allies took may not violate criminal statutes, but they are fundamentally inconsistent with American values," he said. 

On Twitter, Casey also called Barr a "spin doctor and mouthpiece for the President."

Toomey had a different take. 

Toomey said on Twitter he had not yet read the report but "all Americans should be pleased that the Special Counsel concluded there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia."

And while Casey pushed for public release of redacted grand jury information not protected because of intelligence concerns, Toomey said he was pleased the report does not have redactions based on executive privilege.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) discusses the Blocking Deadly Fentanyl Imports Act at the York County Administrative Building in York City, Thursday, March 21, 2019. The bipartisan legislation would hold fentanyl-producing nations accountable for their compliance with United States fentanyl-related drug enforcement. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Rep. Scott Perry, R-Carroll Township, said the previous conclusions of "no collusion, no obstruction, and nothing but complete cooperation from the president," stand with regard to the Mueller report. 

"We need to move on, stop the theater, and get back to the business of governing," Perry said in a statement. 

Republican Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster County, did not return a request for comment. 

In a news conference before the public release of the report, Barr renewed his earlier interpretation of Mueller's findings that the Trump campaign did not collude with Russian interference. 

According to Mueller's report, the investigation "did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities." However, the report states that Russian interference did favor Trump's candidacy in the 2016 election.

Mueller's report also said the investigation found "numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump Campaign."