House Judiciary Committee Approves Subpoenas for Mueller Report
The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved subpoenas for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full Russia report increasing pressure on the Justice Department to release the document without redactions.
The committee voted 24-17 to give Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., permission to issue subpoenas to the department for the final 300-page report, as well as underlying exhibits and other evidence prepared for Mueller’s investigation.
Nadler said he would not immediately issue the subpoena, but in a statement before the party-line vote he said “on multiple occasions I have asked Attorney General [William] Barr to work with us. He has so far refused.
“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,” he said.
The committee also approved issuing subpoenas for five former White House aides and advisors who Democrats said were relevant to an investigation into possible obstruction of justice, abuse of power and other corruption within the Trump administration.
The five are the president’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon; former White House counsel Donald McGahn; former White House communications director Hope Hicks; former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus; and Annie Donaldson, a former McGahn deputy.
Last week the attorney general wrote Nadler and other congressional leaders to tell them he intended to provide Congress with a redacted version of the report by the middle of April.
Barr explained the delay by saying Justice Department officials and representatives of the special counsel’s office needed to go through the document and redact secret grand jury testimony, details pertinent to law enforcement investigations, statements that would infringe on the privacy of “peripheral” third parties, and other classified material.
But Democrats, concerned that Barr might be whitewashing the document, set April 2 as the deadline for delivering the report. They’ve also indicated that getting anything but the full, unredacted report would be suspect.
Barr’s failure to deliver the report Tuesday led directly to Wednesday’s action by the judiciary committee.
A representative of the Justice Department could not immediately be reached for comment.