At Democratic Campaign Events, Mueller Report Is Barely Mentioned

Sarah Rice for The New York Times

RYE, N.H. — For Democratic presidential candidates on Saturday, it wasn’t quite campaigning as usual after the delivery of a long-awaited report from the special counsel roiled Washington over the weekend. But it was pretty close.

At events across early primary states, voters asked about health care and school shootings and immigration. Questioners were far less likely to address the report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, which was delivered to Attorney General William P. Barr on Friday.

Democratic voters said they cared deeply about the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election but weren’t quite sure what to make of the latest twist, exactly.

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“We don’t know what’s in it,” said Alane Sullivan, 63, a retired businesswoman, after attending a town hall meeting with Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota in Rye, N.H. “One thing about people in New Hampshire: They are looking for answers, and they knew she wouldn’t know yet.”

The lack of questions at campaign events about the report surprised some of the candidates, who had come prepared with lines about the latest development in the nearly two-year investigation.

“I tried to kind of delicately bring it up because I think it is the major issue,” Ms. Klobuchar told reporters after her event.

Ms. Klobuchar used a question about the separation of powers to mention her desire that the findings be made public — but that was the beginning and the end of public conversation about the topic.

In South Carolina, the one question Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman, fielded about the Mueller report came from State Senator Marlon Kimpson, a local Democrat and a host of a town hall with Mr. O’Rourke in Charleston. He asked whether Congress should consider impeaching the president “assuming there’s facts and evidence” that President Trump knew about collusion or coordination with Russians who meddled in the 2016 election.

But others in attendance figured the answers would come later.

“I don’t think you can really process anything right now, because we don’t know what’s in it,” said Amy Drennan, 42, who works for a magazine publisher.

Mr. O’Rourke said that the nation should “employ this mechanism of impeachment as an absolute last resort. Ultimately, that will be a decision for our representatives in Congress to make.” But he also said that the matter would “ultimately” be decided “at the ballot box in 2020.”

The response received warm rounds of applause.

With no detailed information available, Democrats have focused their attention on pressuring Mr. Barr to release the full report quickly. In…


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