Members of the all-Republican Arkansas congressional delegation, who had urged the U.S. Department of Justice to release as much of special counsel Robert Mueller's report as possible, weren't on Capitol Hill when the document was delivered Thursday.
Due to Easter recess, they were spread across the state and around the world.
U.S. Sen. John Boozman of Rogers was in Australia on a trade-related trip with other lawmakers when the 448-page report was released at about 1 a.m. today Sydney time.
Hours after it became public, Boozman tweeted: "I have previously called for the release of as much of the Mueller Report as was feasible while protecting classified material and legally restricted information, so I'm pleased Attorney General [William] Barr has now done so. I look forward to reviewing the findings and conclusions. What should not be lost on any of us is the extent of Russia's attempts to interfere in our elections and undermine faith in our democratic institutions. I also look forward to learning what the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee investigation has found and what, if any, recommendations it makes related to safeguarding our nation's elections and the fundamental integrity of our institutions."
Rep. Steve Womack, also of Rogers, was traveling with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other lawmakers in South America. They've been discussing the crisis in Venezuela as well as other matters, according to media reports.
In a written statement, he said it's time to focus on other matters.
∙ Mueller's report finally public
∙ Push on in '16 for Clinton emails
∙Arkansas GOP delegation applauds release
∙ Report notes Sanders' Comey claims as false
∙ Probe examined 10 actions on obstruction of justice
"This investigation has been litigated in the media and political arena for nearly two years. Even with constant leaks, partisan games, and the presumption of guilt that clouded the process -- the conclusion was clear: no collusion, conspiracy, or obstruction. Rather than acknowledging this point, some continue to try and write their own narrative. Political feelings and opinions won't change the facts. With the report released and findings out, it's time to move on," he said. "I urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to stop their games and focus on working for the American people and the good of our nation."
Rep. Rick Crawford of Jonesboro, who serves on the House Intelligence Committee, was wrapping up a trip to Central America.
Given the sensitive nature of his committee assignment, few details were available.
"The Congressman supports the release of the Mueller report but understands the need for redactions that may reveal sources and methods used by the [Department of Justice] that could potentially impact future investigations. He hopes that with the full report released we as a country can now move forward," his spokesman, Sara Robertson, said.
Rep. French Hill of Little Rock, who was in central Arkansas this week, was still reading the Mueller report, a spokesman said.
Rep. Bruce Westerman of Hot Springs expressed satisfaction that the report was now available.
"I've always supported Barr releasing the full report, excluding those portions that legally required redactions, as I believe the American people need to know exactly what Special Counsel [Robert] Mueller found during his 22-month investigation," he said. "I'm taking time to learn what's in the report before drawing conclusions, unlike many have done for the past two years, but I hope that now all the information is in the open we can address it and move on to other issues facing the country."
Sen. Tom Cotton of Dardanelle expressed no surprise at the findings.
"As I've said for two years, there's no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. And some angry tweets about an investigation into something that didn't happen is hardly obstruction of justice," he said. "I encourage the Democrats to put aside their obsession and join us in doing the people's work."
A Section on 04/19/2019
Print Headline: Arkansas GOP delegation applauds release of report