Lawmakers weigh in on Mueller report, AG Barr and WikiLeaks

No surprise, everybody's got an opinion.

Laura Hautala
Laura Hautala
Laura Hautala
Laura Hautala Former Senior Writer
Laura wrote about e-commerce and Amazon, and she occasionally covered cool science topics. Previously, she broke down cybersecurity and privacy issues for CNET readers. Laura is based in Tacoma, Washington, and was into sourdough before the pandemic.
Expertise E-commerce, Amazon, earned wage access, online marketplaces, direct to consumer, unions, labor and employment, supply chain, cybersecurity, privacy, stalkerware, hacking. Credentials 2022 Eddie Award for a single article in consumer technology
3 min read
Attorney General William Barr Holds Press Conference To Discuss Release Of Mueller Report

During a press conference Thursday, Attorney General William Barr speaks about the release of the redacted Mueller report.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Mueller report is out, and lawmakers are among the people reacting to it.

The report is a lightning rod for strong opinions. It has the potential to increase the public's understanding of Russian election interference, in which hackers working for that country allegedly stole sensitive emails and other documents from US political organizations, publishing them on blogs written under pseudonyms or sharing them with WikiLeaks.

It also addresses the question of whether there was coordination between the Russian effort and President Donald Trump or his campaign. Here are some reactions to the redacted report.


Republican lawmakers involved in the Senate investigation into Russian election interference applauded the fact that the report was being released to the public.

Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, who's led the Senate's inquiry into Russian election interference, said in a statement that he looked forward to reading the report, adding: "The American people have a right to review as much of the report as possible to understand the special counsel's conclusions and the reasoning behind them."

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said in a statement, "I applaud Attorney General Barr for his commitment to transparency and keeping the American people informed, consistent with the law and our national security interests. I look forward to hearing the attorney general's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 1, 2019."

Democratic lawmakers focused their initial reactions on Barr for appearing biased toward Trump.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has submitted data privacy bills, tweeted, "The AG is supposed to serve as the country's top law enforcement officer -- someone who stands up for the rule of law & defends the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic. William Barr is standing up for only one person: the President of the United States." Warren also criticized Barr for the amount of redaction in the report.

Sen. Ron Wyden, who's made data privacy one of his main priorities, also criticized Barr in a tweet, saying, the Attorney General "proved beyond a doubt he is here to defend Trump at all costs, facts be damned. This kind of spin is unworthy of an Attorney General."

In a statement released later on Thursday, Wyden said the report showed multiple incidences of Trump obstructing justice. "There is no question the president and his campaign put their self-interest above the national interest over and over again." (The report also details why Mueller decided not to pursue an indictment against Trump for obstruction of justice or any other crime.)


WikiLeaks is named several times in the Mueller report, and its founder Julian Assange was recently charged with crimes stemming from a separate set of leaks from 2010. Assange hasn't been charged with any crimes relating to the allegations that Russian intelligence agents gave him hacked documents to publish on WikiLeaks.

From its Twitter account, WikiLeaks questioned the heavy redactions in the public version of the report, saying, "WikiLeaks has always been confident that this investigation would vindicate our groundbreaking publishing of the 2016 materials, which it has. We disapprove of the large redactions, which permit conspiracy theories to abound. Full transparency please."

Glenn Greenwald, who's defended Assange as a journalist, tweeted, "It should also be noted that Barr said that WikiLeaks could not have committed a crime by publishing the DNC/Podesta emails unless they participated in the hacking itself, which I don't believe ... anyone claimed they did."