Mueller Report: Subpoenas for Trump Officials Approved By House Panel
The committee voted 24-17 to grant permission to issue subpoenas to the Justice Department
Subpoenas for the special counsel Robert Mueller's full Russia report has been approved by The House Judiciary Committee as Democrats continue to mount pressure on the Justice Department to release the document without redactions.
The committee voted 24-17 to grant Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., permission to issue subpoenas to the Justice Department for the final report.
The final report will include additional evidence or materials prepared for Mueller’s investigation.
Nadler has not yet said if he will send the subpoenas.
Attorney General William Barr has been given until Tuesday by the Democrats to produce the full report to Congress.
But the Justice Department ignored the deadline as Barr told the committee chairmen in a letter last week that a redacted version of the full 300-page report would be released by mid-April, “if not sooner.”
The vote also increases the Democrats war with the Justice Department on the visibility of the report
But the Democrats have insisted they would not accept redactions and want to see an unfiltered report.
Barr confirmed in a letter last week that he is scrubbing the report to revealing any classified material that “would unduly infringe on the personal privacy and reputational interests of peripheral third parties.”
Nadler stated he would give Barr time to change his mind on redactions, but insisted he "will have no choice” to issue the subpoenas if they can't reach an agreement.
“Because we may have to go to court to obtain the complete text of the special counsel’s report, and because the president may attempt to invoke executive privilege to withhold that evidence from us, it is imperative that the committee take possession of these documents, and others, without delay,” Nadler said.
According to Breitbart: The Judiciary panel also voted Wednesday to authorize subpoenas related to five of President Donald Trump’s former top advisers, including strategist Steve Bannon, communications director Hope Hicks, chief of staff Reince Priebus, White House counsel Donald McGahn and counsel Ann Donaldson.
Donaldson served as McGahn’s chief of staff before both left the administration.
The five were key witnesses in Mueller’s probe of potential obstruction of justice and were given document requests by the Judiciary panel last month, along with dozens of other people connected to Trump.
Nadler said he is concerned about reports that documents relevant to Mueller’s investigation “were sent outside the White House,” meaning the committee should have access to them because they may not be covered by executive privilege.
The top Republican on the Judiciary panel, Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, said at the vote that the five subpoenas are misguided because two of the individuals have already provided 3,000 documents to the committee and that the other three have indicated a readiness to cooperate.
Collins said all of the subpoenas would be an overreach, and that Democrats shouldn’t be asking for documents that the Justice Department can’t legally disclose to the public.
The committee rejected a GOP amendment that would have24-17 blocked the subpoenas from applying to grand jury information.
“This is reckless, it’s irresponsible, and it’s disingenuous,” Collins said.
Trump himself has mostly deferred to Barr on the report’s release while also saying he wouldn’t mind if the full version were made public.
Still, he has criticized Democrats for seeking the unredacted information.
He tweeted Tuesday that “there is no amount of testimony or document production that can satisfy” Nadler or House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, who has also called for the full release.
In a March 24 four-page summary of Mueller’s report, Barr wrote that the special counsel did not find that Trump’s campaign “conspired or coordinated” with the Russian government to influence the 2016 presidential election.
He also said Mueller did not conclude whether Trump obstructed the federal investigation, instead of setting out “evidence on both sides” of the question.
Barr himself went further than Mueller in his summary letter, declaring that Mueller’s evidence was insufficient to prove in court that Trump had committed obstruction of justice to hamper the probe.