House Democratic Leaders Set Deadline to See Full Mueller Report
The Democratic chairs of six House committees sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr late Monday demanding that Congress receive Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full report on his Russia probe no later than Tuesday, April 2.
In their letter, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler and the five other chairs said Barr’s four-page summary of Mueller’s work is “not sufficient for Congress, a coequal branch of government, to perform oversight duties.”
The other signatories are House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., and House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y.
They argue that providing the report “in complete and unredacted form,” along with the underlying evidence and materials, would be fully consistent with the Justice Department practice and precedent in regard to its interactions with Congress.
“To the extent that you believe applicable law limits your ability to comply, we urge you to begin the process of consultation with us immediately in order to establish shared parameters for resolving those issues without delay,” the letter says.
In his first communication with Congress on the report, Barr said Mueller did not find that President Donald Trump or members of his presidential campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 elections.
Barr went on to say Mueller did not implicate or exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice, effectively punting that question. Absent a recommendation from Mueller, Barr stepped in and decided there wasn’t sufficient evidence to establish that the president obstructed justice.
On a related note, the House Intelligence Committee has postponed Wednesday’s public hearing with Felix Sater, a longtime business associate of President Trump, in order to instead focus on bringing in Justice Department officials to testify on Mueller’s investigation.
In a statement the committee said, “In light of the cursory letter from the Attorney General, and our need to understand Special Counsel Mueller’s areas of inquiry and evidence his office uncovered, we are working in parallel with other Committees to bring in senior officials from the DOJ, FBI and SCO [special counsel’s office] to ensure that our Committee is fully and currently informed about the SCO’s investigation, including all counterintelligence information.”
“With the focus on those efforts this week, we are postponing Mr. Sater’s open interview,” the statement said.
Democratic leaders in Congress continue to follow House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lead in asserting impeachment — a prospect much discussed while Mueller’s investigation was ongoing — is not something they are thinking about as they press demands the full Mueller report be made public.
At least one dissenter in the caucus is continuing to try to make the case for impeachment. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., is circulating a letter among her colleagues in support of a resolution that would instruct the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether the president had “committed impeachable offenses.”
But when she reportedly presented the letter to fellow Democrats in a closed door meeting on Monday, she had no takers.
Asked about the meeting later that night, Pelosi was succinct.
“All I’m interested in is for them to release the full report, the full Mueller report,” the California Democrat said.