The response from the Colorado senators to the public release of the long-anticipated and redacted Mueller report reflected a larger party divide in Washington, D.C.
As Washington scrambled to respond to the 400-page, two-volume report released Thursday, Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., both released a statement from their home state.
While President Donald Trump and his supporters tried to minimize potentially damaging parts of the report, Democratic leadership urged for the full, unredacted release of the special counsel’s findings.
Bennet, who is unofficially considering a 2020 presidential bid, said the redacted report’s contents should “deeply concern every American.”
“The report documents the president’s failure to cooperate with the special counsel, efforts to mislead the American people and troubling interactions with Russia, a foreign adversary,” Bennet’s statement read.
Bennet echoed calls from fellow Democrats for the unredacted report to be released so Congress can “exercise its constitutional responsibility to provide oversight.”
Gardner, who cosponsored a sanctions package against Russia, also expressed concern over the foreign country’s interference in the 2016 election. Gardner said he would maintain pressure on the Putin regime while pursuing additional sanctions. “They cannot go unpunished,” his statement read.
Gardner, who said Mueller “led a fair and thorough investigation,” urged his colleagues to move on from the report.
“Now that the report is public, it’s time for Congress to move forward and get to work on behalf of the American people,” Gardner said.
Back in Colorado, Bennet underwent surgery last weekend for his recent prostate cancer diagnosis. According to his spokeswoman, Courtney Gidner, the surgery was a success, and the senator does not require further treatment.
“Michael and his family deeply appreciate the well wishes and support from Coloradans and others across the country, and he looks forward to returning to work after the recess,” Gidner said.
Bennet previously told The Colorado Independent an official campaign announcement was contingent on a clean bill of health after his surgery.
Liz Weber is a student at American University in Washington, D.C., and an intern for The Durango Herald.