Adam Schiff: Democrats will "subpoena the report" and "bring Bob Mueller in to testify" if necessary

"We will take it to court if necessary," the House Intelligence Committee chair tells ABC's George Stephanopoulos

Published February 25, 2019 10:45AM (EST)

Adam Schiff (AP/Alex Brandon)
Adam Schiff (AP/Alex Brandon)

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Sunday threatened to call special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before his panel and subpoena his investigative findings into Russian interference in the 2016 election and any alleged collusion or obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump, his campaign or administration if newly-confirmed Attorney General William Barr does not make Mueller's highly-anticipated report public.

"We will obviously subpoena the report. We will bring Bob Mueller in to testify before Congress. We will take it to court if necessary," Schiff told host George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week."

"In the end, I think the Department [of Justice] understands they're going to have to make this public. I think Barr will ultimately understand that, as well," Schiff said. (During his confirmation hearings, Barr vowed to allow Mueller to complete his investigation and make as many of the findings findings public as he is able.)

Schiff and other Democratic House committee chairs also sent a letter to Barr on Friday, urging him to publicize Mueller's report. The lawmakers requested that the Justice Department provide parts of the report that are not made public to Congress and asked that the department explain its reasoning "for withholding the information from the public, in order for us to judge the appropriateness of any redactions for ourselves."

"We write to you to express, in the strongest possible terms, our expectation that the Department of Justice will release to the public the report Special Counsel Mueller submits to you — without delay and to the maximum extent permitted by law," the committee chairpeople wrote in the letter. Besides Schiff (D-N.Y.), the letter was signed by House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.).

"We are going to get to the bottom of this," Schiff told Stephanopoulos Sunday. "We are going to share this information with the public. And if the president is serious about all of his claims of exoneration, then he should welcome the publication of this report."

Schiff's Intelligence Committee is scheduled to hear testimony Thursday from Michael Cohen, the attorney who spent many years working as Trump's personal "fixer," behind closed doors. Cohen is also set to give a closed-door testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday and publicly appear before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday.

Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison last December for his role in buying the silence of women who alleged affairs with the future president during the 2016 election. He also pleaded guilty to financial crimes, campaign finance violations and lying to Congress about his contacts with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign — specifically his efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, which were ultimately aborted.

"We think he has a lot to offer," Schiff said.

Trump, for his part, has declined to say if he would make Mueller's report public, claiming that such a decision is "totally" up to the attorney general. He has vehemently denied all allegations of collusion with Russia during his 2016 presidential campaign and has repeatedly railed against the special counsel's investigation into the matter as a politically-motivated "witch hunt" and a "hoax."

By Shira Tarlo

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