AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
The DOJ issued a statement on Tuesday announcing an agreement with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) to share some of the Mueller Investigation documents. However, they warn their cooperation will end if House Democrats try to enforce their subpoena to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress.
The DOJ’s statement said:
The Department of Justice has already begun the process of identifying, locating, and reviewing the materials potentially responsive to the categories of documents [requested by the Committee]…This process will not continue should the Committee take the unnecessary and unproductive step of moving to hold the Attorney General in contempt.
The Department may be in a position to discuss making them available to the Committee in relatively short order, subject to processing and reviewing.
In a tweet, Schiff rephrased the agreement to make it appear that he was the one dictating terms.
Schiff tweeted: “DOJ has accepted our offer, and will begin turning over to the Committee twelve categories of counterintelligence and foreign intelligence materials beginning this week. Our subpoena will remain in effect, and be enforced should DOJ fail to comply with the full document request.”
The mainstream media is portraying this as a win for the Democrats. The headline for this story in the Washington Post is entitled “DOJ offers to share Mueller documents to avoid House action.”
I don’t understand why the DOJ caved on this. Obviously, I have no idea what the DOJ’s reason is for acquiescing on this issue, but it most definitely gives the impression that Schiff has prevailed in this battle.
Here are two responses to Schiff’s tweet:
Awesome work Congressman. You didn’t relent and the DOJ saw that they have no choice but to cooperate.
Barr needs to be contained. Citing him on contempt might have been more effective in the long run than seeing the counterintelligence. How much isn’t he going to see? What was left out of the deal?
It is entirely possible that the DOJ’s stated reason for providing the documents is their real reason. Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd sent a letter to Schiff on Tuesday in which he offered the DOJ’s cooperation on the condition that the committee “confirms today that it will not pursue any vote on an ‘enforcement action.'”
Perhaps the documents the DOJ plans to turn over are completely innocuous. If that’s true, then they really aren’t giving up much ground.
DOJ officials may also feel that, because the executive and the legislative branches must interact in order to accomplish anything, they want to be seen as being willing to cooperate.