On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee voted to issue a subpoena to the Department of Justice, asking them to hand over the entirety of special counsel Robert Mueller’s unredacted report, as well as any of the materials that support its findings.
According to The Hill, the committee passed the resolution, which authorized the issuance of several subpoenas, with a straight party line vote of 24-7. The Hill stated: “The resolution also authorizes the committee’s Democratic chairman to subpoena testimony related to the special counsel’s report.”
Jerrold Nadler, the House Judiciary Committee Chairman, stated that he would be giving a limited number of days to Attorney General Barr to comply with the demand for Mueller’s unredacted report, which covers the investigation into the potential collusion between Trump and Russia, before a subpoena is issued.
Before the committee on Wednesday, Nadler said: “This committee requires the full report, because it is our job, not the attorney general’s, to determine whether or not President Trump has abused his office. We must make it harder for future presidents to behave in this way.”
Attorney General Barr has made the promise to give Congress as much of the unredacted Mueller report as he legally can by the middle of April. Barr pointed out that the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e) prevents him from speaking about matters before a grand jury, including witness testimony, without the approval of a judge.
According to The Hill, Nadler said: “I will give him time to change his mind, but if we cannot reach an accommodation then we will have no choice but to issue subpoenas for these materials. And if the department still refuses, then it should be up to a judge — not the president and not his political appointee — to decide whether the committee can review the complete record.”
Rep. Doug Collins from Georgia, a ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, accused the Democrats of taking part in “political theater.” He also came to Barr’s defense by saying that Barr was simply following the law. “The regulations we put in place are still there. At this point in time, the attorney general, although he is being smeared, repeatedly, is doing exactly what the regulation says.”
After the committee meeting, Nadler told reporters that he isn’t willing to negotiate with the Department of Justice about his demand for the entire unredacted report, and the materials that support it, to be turned over. “The committee must see everything, as was done in every prior instance. We handle confidential materials all the time. We have facilities to do that. We make those judgments,” said Nadler.
During the hearing on Wednesday, Nadler spoke about the controversy surrounding his opposition of releasing independent counsel Ken Starr’s complete report about then-President Bill Clinton in 1998 because it contained “salacious” information and uncertain testimony, as opposed to his current demand for all of Mueller’s unredacted report. He explained that the 1998 controversy occurred over releasing information from the Starr report that Congress already has possession of. “Congress has no business publishing graphic accounts of the president’s sex life. We are dealing now not with the president’s private affairs, but with a sustained attack on the integrity of the republic by the president and his closest advisers,” explained Nadler.
In response to the demands issued by Nadler and his fellow Democrats, President Trump said: “It’s ridiculous. We went through two years of the Mueller investigation. So there’s no collusion, there’s no obstruction and now we’re going to start this process all over again? I think it’s a disgrace.” He continued by saying of the Democrats, “Anything we give them will never be enough.” The president then pledged to stand by what Barr decides should be released to Congress.