A vulnerable Democrat up for re-election has a not-so-transparent take on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
During a radio interview Sunday, Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey stated that he doesn’t want to see Mueller, who is leading the investigation into Russian election meddling, issue a report on his findings so close to the 2018 midterms.
Casey suggested any such report may only serve as a distraction during the midterms and make Americans question the elections’ integrity.
“I don’t think we’ll know anywhere near the full story until (Mueller) issues his report,” he told host John Catsimatidis on New York radio station AM 970.
Casey, who is running for re-election this year in a state that was won by President Donald Trump, believes if Mueller’s report won’t be ready for release by the summer or later, he should simply wait “until after” the midterms.
“But once you get into the summer, and you get close to the election, I think it’s a mistake for him to release it late. I think you should wait until after (the election),” he continued, according to The Hill.
Casey’s statement was unusual, given that most Democrats on Capitol Hill have called for Mueller to have unfettered rein as he continues his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, including allegations of Trump-Russia collusion.
On Friday, Mueller’s office officially charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies for attempting to interfere in the 2016 election.
The indictments essentially verify that Russian agents did, in fact, attempt to meddle in the U.S. election process, using a sophisticated system of social media and other online elements to foment disruption. However, the indictments have, at least thus far, brushed away the possibility that any American officials were knowingly involved in the process.
“Now, there is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Friday during a news conference that offered more specifics of the indictments. “There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”
Muller’s report included what Republicans are calling even more vindication for the Trump campaign team. In addition to finding that no American was knowingly involved and that Russian activities did not ultimately sway the presidential election, the exhaustive report also determined that the Russian operation began as early as 2014, long before Trump launched his campaign, and that they sought to boost Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign during the Democrat primaries.
Taking to his favorite social media platform, Trump celebrated Mueller’s findings, and criticized the “fake news media” for not reporting enough on the subject.
Trump also sought to highlight statements from Rob Goldman, the vice president of Facebook advertisements. Goldman said that the majority of Russian-orchestrated Facebook ads were spent after the election. The Facebook executive also “definitively” stated that swaying the election was not the Russians’ main goal.
Whatever else the FBI may find later this year, Casey does not want to see any major revelations so close to the midterms. The Pennsylvania Democrat likely has a difficult re-election effort on his hands.
National Republicans scored a major victory when Rep. Lou Barletta announced he would challenge Casey this election cycle, earning the GOP a top recruit. Barletta — who Trump endorsed — currently represents a section of the state that witnessed a rightward shift during the 2016 election, and Republicans believe he is a strong candidate to flip the seat.
Republicans consider Pennsylvania a major pickup opportunity in the fight to maintain control of the U.S. Senate.
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