Nadler Subpoenas Barr for Mueller's Report Without Redactions
(Bloomberg) -- The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena Friday for a full, unredacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report and all the evidence behind it, giving Attorney General William Barr a May 1 deadline to comply.
“My committee needs and is entitled to the full version of the report and the underlying evidence consistent with past practice,” Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York said in a statement. The excised portions of the report “appear to be significant," he added.
Nadler’s subpoena demands “all documents obtained and investigative materials created by the Special Counsel’s Office.”
The subpoena reflects a pledge by Democrats who control to the House to pursue questions about President Donald Trump and Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. But Nadler is also among Democrats who have said it’s “too early” to talk about impeaching the president.
Kerri Kupec, a Justice Department spokeswoman, called Nadler’s subpoena “premature and unnecessary.”
“The department will continue to work with Congress to accommodate its legitimate requests consistent with the law and long-recognized executive branch interests,” she said in a statement.
While Mueller said in his report that he wasn’t able to establish that Trump or his associates conspired in Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, he all but invited Congress to examine at least 10 episodes in which the president may have obstructed justice by meddling in the investigation.
The subpoena, authorized by the Judiciary panel in advance, could begin a legal battle that could go all the way to the Supreme Court if Barr resists disclosing evidence that he has said involves classified information, ongoing investigations, grand jury proceedings and people “peripheral” to the investigation.
Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary panel, said Friday that Nadler was “rushing” to subpoena material before even asking the department to provide it.
“As a result, today’s subpoena is wildly overbroad,” Collins said in a statement. “It commands the department to provide Congress with millions of records that would be plainly against the law to share because the vast majority of these documents came as a result of nearly 2,800 subpoenas from a grand jury that is still ongoing.”
Barr said Thursday that he’s willing to share all of the redacted information except grand jury proceedings in a secure setting to key lawmakers.
But by Friday afternoon, Nadler and Democratic leaders -- including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer -- sent a letter rejecting Barr’s offer. His proposal to permit only 12 lawmakers to view a less-redacted version, and prohibit them from discussing it with other members of Congress, is "not acceptable," they wrote.
“Even the redacted version of the report outlines serious instances of wrongdoing by President Trump and some of his closest associates,” Nadler said in his statement.
Nadler said he is “open to working with ” the Justice Department “to reach a reasonable accommodation for access to these materials, however I cannot accept any proposal which leaves most of Congress in the dark, as they grapple with their duties of legislation, oversight and constitutional accountability.”
The subpoena’s May 1 deadline for Barr to produce the unredacted report is the day he’s scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a day before he is scheduled to testify to the House Judiciary Committee.
Nadler is also among Democrats who have said that Mueller should testify before Congress.
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