House Democrats Vote To Subpoena Mueller Report

The House Judiciary Committee chaired by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) voted Wednesday to authorize a subpoena to compel the Department of Justice (DOJ) to hand the Mueller report over to Congress. 

Passing by a margin of 24-17, the resolution authorizes subpoenas for special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report, as well as its underlying evidence. 

Attorney General William Barr did not comply with an April 2 deadline set by Nadler, who has criticized the four-page summary of conclusions on what is believed to be a nearly 400-page report. 

Barr and Mueller are currently working to redact sensitive information ahead of the report’s full public release, which Barr should be ready by mid-April or sooner, according to comments made by Barr to lawmakers last week. 

In a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Friday, Barr wrote that the public version of the report would be scrubbed of sensitive national security information that could compromise sources and methods; grand jury material; information that could impact ongoing investigations; and “information that would unduly infringe on the personal privacy and reputational interests of peripheral third parties.” –The Hill

A redacted report in two weeks isn’t enough for House Democrats, who have demanded the immediate release of Mueller’s report – with no redactions

Nadler was singing a different tune in 1998 when the Clinton report was finished, however – advocating for redactions “as a matter of decency and protecting people’s privacy rights.”

According to Bloombergthe House panel’s subpoenas might spark a legal battle that could reach the US Supreme Court. 

“The Constitution charges Congress with holding the president accountable for alleged official misconduct,” said Nadler before Wednesday’s vote, adding “Congress is entitled to all of the evidence.”

A deal could still be negotiated between Democrats and Barr before the committee issues such a subpoena. “I will give him time to change his mind,” Nadler said. “But if we cannot reach accommodation, then we will have no choice but to issue subpoenas.”

The attorney general has pledged to provide Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and any links to President Donald Trump or those around him, by mid-April. But he has indicated that he’ll omit sections from its more than 400 pages that deal with classified information and grand jury proceedings. –Bloomberg

Republicans, meanwhile, have accused Democrats of keeping the Russia investigation open for political purposes despite the fact that the Mueller report concludes that there was no collusion between Trump and Russia. 

Rep. Doug Collins (R-FL) – the top Republican on the Judiciary panel said that Democrats are “desperately searching for something on the president,” while President Trump has tweeted that Democrats “have become totally unhinged and would like to go through the whole process again.”

But while Mueller cleared Trump of collusion, he left the question of whether the president obstructed the investigation up to AG Barr and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw the majority of the Russia probe. 

Nadler said that “we have reason to suspect this administration’s motives. The Mueller report probably isn’t the ‘total exoneration’ the president claims it to be.” He said “it is our job, not the attorney general’s, to determine whether or not President Trump has abused his office.”

But Republican John Ratcliff of Texas, a former U.S. attorney, asked, “Where in the special counsel regulation does it say the attorney general must turn over an unredacted, full special counsel report? The special counsel regulation doesn’t say that. No law says that.” –Bloomberg.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) told MSNBC on Wednesday “it’s inevitable that Bob Mueller is going to have to testify before Congress.


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