The Democrat-run House Judiciary Committee has just voted to subpoena the complete and unredacted Mueller report and all the supporting documentation.
— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) April 3, 2019
The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday authorized Chairman Jerry Nadler to issue a subpoena for special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report and all of the underlying evidence Mueller collected.
The vote gives Nadler the discretion to issue a subpoena at any time to Attorney General William Barr, a move that likely would launch a legal confrontation between Congress and the Justice Department.
The party line committee vote authorized Nadler to issue subpoenas for five former senior aides to President Donald Trump as part of a broad obstruction of justice and corruption probe, including former chief of staff Reince Priebus, former adviser Steve Bannon, former White House counsel Don McGahn, McGahn’s former deputy Ann Donaldson and former communications director Hope Hicks.
The authorization for subpoenas puts Congress on an aggressive footing while Barr reviews Mueller’s report and redacts several categories of information. Barr has indicated he intends to redact classified information, grand jury testimony, material relevant to ongoing investigations and “reputational” information that could be harmful to “peripheral third parties.”
Democrats have argued that Congress should have access to all of that information even if it is blacked out of the version of the report Barr makes public. They note that Republicans received material in all four of these categories when they demanded documents from the Justice Department over the last two years.
What the Democrats want here are a series of things.
They want a fight with Barr over what they will see so they can accuse the Trump administration of covering up the Mueller report, Fat Jerry is already calling Barr an “agent” of President Trump (sorry about the Breitbart link, but that’s who has it):
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 3, 2019
And they are swearing they won’t negotiate.
Just asked Jerry Nadler if he would be open to ANY middle ground with the Justice Department in terms of redactions, and he said: “No.” He said “absolutely” they will go to court to get the Mueller grand jury information. He said subpoenas would be served “in short order”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) April 3, 2019
I doubt they’ll go to court when they don’t get everything because despite the lawyers telling them that their demand is a slam dunk, I think that claim is resistance propaganda. The notion that the Judiciary Committee can force the release of grand jury testimony, something that is barred by federal law, is rooted in the Watergate era (here as the best explanation of that theory). Mueller is a completely different kind of special counsel than were Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski and it isn’t like the administration is either in as weak a position as the Nixon administration or that it will be reluctant to fight to keep grand jury testimony secret and restrict access to the intelligence information.
In the end, they’ll get a redacted document and they’ll get the chance to read the real report.
That is unfortunate. Because as surely as night follows day, they will lie about it. We’ve already seen that happen when Adam Schiff burned CNN to the ground with a bogus leak. Now, however, there will be limited ability to pushback as Schiff will be the leak and then will be able to confirm his own leak on the record.
The best thing that Barr…or President Trump…could do would be release the entire unredacted report and let the chips fall where they may.
I’m on Facebook. Drop by and join the fun there.