Adam Schiff rejects ‘Gang of Eight’ classified briefing on Mueller report

March 24, 2019

Rep. Adam Schiff of California on Sunday said closed-door briefings to Congress on special counsel Robert Mueller’s report will be no substitute for holding up the findings to public scrutiny.

Mr. Schiff was responding to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s reported decision to rebuff any effort by Justice Department officials to relay details of the report in a classified setting to the “Gang of Eight” top-ranking House and Senate officials who typically handle sensitive information.

“That’s not going to fly. This report is going to have to be made public,” said Mr. Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told CBS’s Face the Nation.

The White House and Congress are still waiting to hear from Attorney General William Barr, who has been reviewing Mr. Mueller’s findings on Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The special counsel turned in his report late Friday.

Justice officials say the special counsel does not plan to bring new charges against President Trump or others, leading some conservatives to claim vindication after the two-year probe.

Mr. Schiff said there is still “ample evidence” of malfeasance by Mr. Trump’s orbit, including a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Despite the lack of new charges, he said he had faith in Mr. Mueller’s findings.

“That is Bob Mueller’s decision, and I have great confidence in him,” Mr. Schiff said.

The Californian echoed the view of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, who said Congress deserves to see Mr. Mueller’s underlying evidence because the Justice Department said it cannot indict a sitting president, leaving potential punishment with Capitol Hill.