Kansas congressional delegates welcomed delivery Thursday of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russia's meddling in U.S. elections, a detailed document that marks the end of a two-year investigation and adds kerosene to partisan firefights.
The redacted 448-page report reinforces Attorney General William Barr's assertion that no evidence proves President Donald Trump colluded with Russia as the foreign power worked to influence voters in 2016, but the report reveals new information about the president's efforts to thwart Mueller's investigation.
“Kansans knew this was a stunt from the start," said Rep. Roger Marshall, a Republican from the 1st District. "After two years of speculation and accusations I am glad to see, and it was to no surprise, that President Trump has been cleared. It’s a travesty that the U.S. taxpayer was forced to foot the $25 million bill for this nothing-burger.”
Republican Sen. Pat Roberts applauded release of the full report and warned of looming political battles.
"The report is thorough and determines there was no collusion," Roberts said. "It would be beneficial to the nation to move on. Unfortunately, there will be a lot of finger pointing and politics to come, making legislating very difficult.”
The lone Democrat in the Kansas delegation, Rep. Sharice Davids, who represents the 3rd District in the Kansas City area, said she was glad people can see the report and make their own judgement.
"The American people deserve full transparency," Davids said. "I want to work with people from both parties to make sure we protect the integrity of our elections from foreign influence, but I also hope that Congress can now focus on finding solutions to the things that matter most to Kansans, like access to affordable quality health care.”
Rep. Ron Estes, a Republican who represents the 4th District in the Wichita area, said he hoped release of the Mueller report would allow the country to "come together and move past the bitter partisan divide of the previous presidential election."
"While I hope this report sheds more light on Russia’s attempt to sow discord in our elections," Estes said, "the ultimate conclusion remains that there was no collusion between the president’s campaign and Russia."
Last month, Barr released a four-page memo with his summary of the report, saying there was no evidence of wrongdoing by the president. Trump's detractors demanded full disclosure.
Barr offered additional remarks Thursday before the Justice Department made the report public.
"There is great value in the American people seeing as much of the report as possible by law," said Republican Sen. Jerry Moran. "I look forward to fully reviewing the report. In addition, I thank Robert Mueller for his service and expect his report to guide efforts to prevent future interference by Russia and other foreign powers in our elections.”
Rep. Steve Watkins, a Republican from the 2nd District in eastern Kansas, applauded the president's willingness to make the report public without using executive privilege to keep it secret.
"The report found there was no collusion," Watkins said. "I look forward to shifting the focus back to where it should have been all along, delivering results for the people of Kansas. It is time to move on.”
The president proclaimed victory, tweeting a "Game of Thrones" style photo promotion that read "Game Over." His re-election campaign manager, Topeka native Brad Parscale, said Trump has been completely exonerated and the tables have turned.
"It’s time to investigate the liars who instigated this sham investigation into President Trump, motivated by political retribution and based on no evidence whatsoever," Parscale said.