Following are statements from Senators King and Collins and Congresswoman Pingree that they each released last Thursday right after the Mueller report was released.

Senator Angus King:

The lengthy document released today [April 18] by the Justice Department is further proof that Special Counsel Mueller and his team conducted a serious, thorough, and thoughtful investigation into the events surrounding foreign interference in the 2016 election. While I intend to carefully review these extensive findings in the coming days, here are my initial reactions to the Special Counsel’s report:

• First and foremost, Special Counsel Mueller clearly and without doubt confirms the Intelligence Community’s assessment that foreign powers sought to interfere in the 2016 election. These efforts, perpetrated by the Russian government, were a sophisticated, thorough, and direct attack on our democratic principles. This is an incredibly serious threat to our American system of government that we must work aggressively to prevent in future elections. That effort starts with making sure that the American people are fully aware of the scope and degree of foreign interference in our elections; to that end, I hope and expect that we will never again hear elected officials express doubt regarding the clearly proven fact that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

• Second, this document is filled with numerous examples of reckless judgment by the President and his closest advisors, both before and after his election in 2016. While the Special Counsel’s report states that the investigation was unable to establish evidence of cooperation or coordination between the Trump campaign and individuals directly carrying out the Russian effort, there are numerous and serious instances of links between the campaign and individuals with Russian ties; for example, the decision by Paul Manafort to share internal campaign messaging plans, polling data, and key states targeted by the Trump campaign with a Russian national who had ties to Russian intelligence. Additionally, Special Counsel Mueller notes that the President instructed his staff to fire Special Counsel Mueller, who only remained in his position because the President’s staff ‘declined to carry out orders,’ thereby averting more serious legal questions. These are deeply concerning behaviors, and Americans — regardless of who they voted for — should be troubled by such blatant disregard for our electoral and governmental norms. Put more simply: just because these actions may not have broken the law doesn’t mean that they’re right.

• Third, I am severely disappointed in AG Barr after watching his press conference this morning and comparing key passages of the Mueller report to the original characterization of the report in the Attorney General’s letters to Congress. I am particularly frustrated regarding his lack of clarity on the important fact that the Special Counsel’s choice not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment was impacted by the Office of Legal Counsel’s opinion that a sitting President may not be indicted. I voted against AG Barr’s nomination, saying at the time that I thought he had a ‘deep respect for the Department of Justice’ but had concerns about how he would handle the Mueller report. I now worry that I gave Mr. Barr too much credit — his attempts to mischaracterize the conclusions of the Special Counsel’s investigation have only served to exacerbate an existing divide in our nation, and have inflicted further harm upon our national discourse.

• As previously stated, in the coming days I will be carefully examining the full findings of the Special Counsel’s report, which will now be added to the extensive evidence the Senate Intelligence Committee has already collected as part of our parallel investigation into foreign interference in the 2016 election. Additionally, I will be recommending to Chairman Burr and Vice Chairman Warner that the Senate Intelligence Committee should invite Special Counsel Mueller to a public hearing so the American people may be able to hear directly from the Special Counsel regarding his findings.

Senator Susan Collins:

It is important that the American people be able to review as much of the Special Counsel’s report as possible. The Attorney General has provided a straightforward explanation for the basis of the report’s redactions and the overall rationale for those decisions. It is standard practice to protect national security sources and methods and to comply with Justice Department policies. I am also pleased that congressional leaders will have an opportunity to read most of the unredacted report.

I will not be commenting on the substance of the more than 400-page report until I have carefully reviewed it. The thoroughness of Mr. Mueller’s investigation is underscored not only by the length of this report, but by the approximately 500 witnesses interviewed, the 2,800 subpoenas issued, the nearly 500 search warrants secured, and the more than 230 orders for communication records obtained, as well as the 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence. It also speaks well for the Department of Justice, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and the three Attorneys General who served during this investigation, that there were no instances where the Special Counsel was told that his actions were inappropriate or unwarranted.

I am also pleased that the Attorney General indicated that he did not have any objection to Mr. Mueller testifying before Congress. If Mr. Mueller were to testify, it could give the Congress and the American people another opportunity to better understand the facts and conclusions that he reached during his investigation.

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree:

Today’s [April 18] press conference by Mr. Barr was an exercise in political spin. The Attorney General must be loyal to the rule of law, not the executive. We learned today that President Trump’s lawyers saw the findings of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation before the United States Congress and before the American people. That is not acceptable. Even now, we still have not seen the complete findings. The abridged version we received is no substitute for the unvarnished truth, especially given the indisputable and disturbing certainty that Russia hacked our election. The full report should be released to Congress without redaction and Mr. Mueller should testify before Congress about his findings.