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Republicans stand by Trump after Robert Mueller remarks

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WASHINGTON — Republicans in Congress and President Donald Trump’s inner circle answered the former special counsel Robert Mueller’s public statement with repeated claims there was no wrongdoing on the president’s part, even as Democrats ramp up calls for impeachment proceedings.

Republicans have by and large stood by the president, who holds a commanding level of favorability with GOP voters. But after Mueller’s clarified remarks on Wednesday, some Republicans slightly adjusted their tone as it relates to accusations of obstruction of justice.

Read more: Mueller says he won’t tell Congress anything new about the Russia investigation and it’s another hurdle for Democrats seeking impeachment

“Today’s statement by Mr. Mueller reinforces the findings of his report,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, the current Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, said in a statement. “And as for me, the case is over.”

“Without an underlying offense or collusion, and the overwhelming cooperation by the Trump White House with the Mueller investigation, the Attorney General’s decision on obstruction is sound,” he added. “It will be the final word in my view.”

Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the House Judiciary Committee’s ranking Republican, echoed Graham by calling for Congress to move on and pursue other business.

“Special Counsel Mueller confirmed today what we knew months ago when his report was released: there was no collusion and no obstruction,” Collins said in a statement. “Re-litigating the 2016 election and re-investigating the special counsel’s findings will only further divide our country. I appreciate Special Counsel Mueller highlighting the grave threat Russian interference in our elections poses to our democracy.”

A slight change in tone came from Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign manager Brad Parscale.

In April, when Attorney General William Barr released a partially redacted copy of the special counsel’s final report, Parscale said in a statement that “President Trump has been fully and completely exonerated yet again.”

But on Wednesday, when Mueller clarified that he did not “make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime,” Parscale followed with a slight tweak as it related to obstruction of justice accusations, emphasizing there was “no case for obstruction.”

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s remarks today confirmed what we already knew. There was no collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign, and there was no case for obstruction,” Parscale said in a statement. “President Trump has been fully and completely exonerated. Mueller said his investigation is over. The case is now closed.”

Read more: A GOP congressman suggested Trump could be impeached, and now top Republicans are disowning him

Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan has made headlines and drawn the ire of his fellow Republicans by being the only GOP member of Congress to say Trump engaged in impeachable conduct.

Minutes after Mueller concluded his statement without taking any questions from reporters, Amash suggested action should be taken in a post on Twitter, writing, “The ball is in our court, Congress.”

Amash is on an island in the GOP as it relates to impeachment. Meanwhile, others have only expressed extreme dissatisfaction with how the special counsel report described Trump’s behavior.

“I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the President,” Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah said in an April statement. As of Wednesday, Romney has not weighed in on Mueller’s latest statement.

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