House Dems announce first subpoena in Mueller probe
House Democrats announced plans Monday for their first subpoena in the Mueller probe, saying they’ll demand not only the special counsel’s final report but his entire investigative work product.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler announced a committee meeting Wednesday to vote on the subpoena.
“Congress requires the full and complete special counsel report, without redactions, as well as access to the underlying evidence,” he said in a statement.
Mr. Nadler had set a deadline of this Tuesday for his own demand for all that work to be turned over, but Attorney General William P. Barr has said he won’t be done going through the report until later this month.
Mr. Nadler said that wasn’t acceptable.
Mr. Barr has released a four-page summary of the major findings from special counsel Robert Mueller, concluding that there was no evidence President Trump and his campaign conspired with Russia to subvert the 2016 election. Mr. Mueller did not find enough evidence to charge the president with obstruction of justice, Mr. Barr added.
Those findings have angered Democrats, who say they think Mr. Barr is covering up wrongdoing.
Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the committee, said Mr. Nadler’s move was an unnecessary escalation.
He said some of the information Mr. Nadler is demanding is not allowed, under current law, to be seen outside the Justice Department. That likely includes grand jury information.
“It’s unfortunate that a body meant to uphold the law has grown so desperate that it’s patently misrepresenting the law, even as the attorney general has already demonstrated transparency above and beyond what is required,” Mr. Collins said.
In addition to the Mueller documents, Mr. Nadler will also ask his committee to approve subpoenas for former Trump White House officials including his one-time strategist Stephen Bannon, former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and former top lawyer Donald McGahn.
They were among those who got document requests from Mr. Nadler last month, and some of them have said they are cooperating.
But Mr. Nadler says he wants to see what they might have in their files related to the special counsel.
The subpoenas could be a way of gaining insight into how the White House approached its dealings with the special counsel, while avoiding running into a brick wall of executive privilege, which is likely to stymy many of Mr. Nadler’s inquiries.
“I am particularly concerned about reports that documents relevant to the special counsel investigation were sent outside the White House, waving applicable privileges,” the chairman said in a statement. “To this end, I have asked the Committee to authorize me to issue subpoenas, if necessary, to compel the production of documents and testimony.”