House Democrats say they will vote on Wednesday to subpoena Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s complete report. They also will subpoena Mueller’s underlying evidence files and other materials, according to CNN.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler will authorize a subpoena this week to obtain the full, unredacted report from special counsel Robert Mueller; see PO-25MO pic.twitter.com/je7Zz07tOZ
— CNN Newsource (@CNNNewsource) April 1, 2019
Leading Democrats in Congress have been saying for the past week that they are tired of Attorney General Bill Barr’s games. And now they have rejected as “insufficient” Barr’s promise to produce a redacted version of the report later in April.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) announced Monday that his committee will meet Wednesday morning to approve a resolution that will authorize the subpoenas.
Barr said in a letter Friday that he expects to release a redacted version of Mueller’s report “by mid-April, if not sooner.” The attorney general also said the full Mueller report would be modified to exclude large amounts of information, such as:
- grand jury testimony,
- information that could compromise intelligence “sources and methods,”
- material that could affect ongoing Justice Department investigations, and
- information that might “infringe on the personal privacy” or reputation of “peripheral third parties.”
Barr sent to Congress a very short letter on March 24 which contained very little information about Mueller’s evidence or final report. Barr wrote that Mueller had completed his investigation into Trump campaign contacts with Russia. He added that the probe “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
Barr’s letter also said Mueller had chosen not to reach a legal conclusion concerning whether or not Trump had obstructed justice. Barr then took it upon himself to reach the conclusion that Mueller’s evidence “was not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction of justice offense.”
Since Barr sent his letter eight days ago Trump and his allies have been constantly claiming that Barr’s conclusions offer him “complete exoneration.”
Of course that is not true, and the American people aren’t buying it either.
Democrats Must See the Entire Mueller Report to Do Their Own Investigation
Democrats now say they they must review the entire Mueller report in order to conduct their own congressional investigation into Trump’s Russian ties and alleged obstruction of justice. Nadler and other House Democratic leaders last week set an April 2 deadline for Barr to turn over the whole report. They said they want the report with no redactions, and they also want to see Mueller’s underlying evidence.
Nadler said he will subpoena documents from several ex-White House aides as well. These include:
- former senior adviser Steven Bannon;
- former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks;
- former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus;
- former White House Counsel Don McGahn; and
- Ann Donaldson, McGahn’s former deputy.
Nadler explained his actions by saying that those people “may have received documents from the White House relevant to the Special Counsel investigation, or their outside counsel may have, waiving applicable privileges under the law.”
There is Precedent to Require Barr to Release Mueller’s Complete Report
Although Barr and other Republicans say they don’t need to release the entire Mueller report, according to CNN:
“Democrats argue that there’s ample precedent for Barr to release the full report to Congress, including grand jury material, pointing to the investigations into Watergate and former President Bill Clinton. They’re also citing the Republican-led investigation in the last Congress into the FBI and Justice Department’s handling of the Clinton and Trump-Russia investigations, in which Republicans demanded sensitive law-enforcement documents from the department.”
The Time Has Come for Action
The time has come for Democrats to take action. They need to show that they are not willing to play any more games — including the waiting game. The subpoenas from powerful House committees will soon be flying. And when they do, Bill Barr and Donald Trump will no longer be able to hide from the consequences of their actions.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.