Democrats on House Judiciary Committee authorize subpoena for full Mueller report

House Judiciary Committee authorizes a subpoena of the full Robert Mueller report

By Matthew Rozsa

Published April 3, 2019 12:11PM (EDT)

Robert Mueller; Donald Trump (Getty/Salon)
Robert Mueller; Donald Trump (Getty/Salon)

The House Judiciary Committee voted on Wednesday to authorize a subpoena for the full and unredacted report produced by special counsel Robert Mueller on the allegations of an improper relationship between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government, as well as charges of obstruction of justice.

"The Constitution charges Congress with holding the president accountable for alleged official misconduct. That job requires us to evaluate the evidence for ourselves — not the attorney general's summary, not a substantially redacted synopsis, but the full report and the underlying evidence," Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said in his opening remarks on Wednesday, according to NBC News. The Judiciary Committee authorized a subpoena for the report and for underlying documents that were used as evidence in the report. This will include "any accompanying exhibits, annexes, tables, appendices, other attachments and all evidence referenced in the report" as well as "underlying evidence collected, materials prepared, or documents used by" the special counsel's office. Nadler also added that he would give Barr "time to change his mind" about handing over the report before issuing his subpoena.

The subpoena itself will not be issued until Nadler himself approves it.

There are also five former White House officials who will be given subpoenas: Steve Bannon, the former Trump campaign adviser and White House strategist; Ann Donaldson, the former White House deputy counsel; Hope Hicks, the former White House communications director; Don McGahn, the former White House counsel and Reince Priebus, the former White House chief of staff.

The ranking House member on the committee, Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., argued in his opening remarks that Nadler was asking Attorney General Bill Barr to break the law through his subpoena.

"The attorney general's entire mandate is to enforce the law, and he’s expressly forbidden from providing grand jury material outside of the department, with very limited and narrow exceptions. Congress is not one of those exceptions, and the chairman knows it," Collins declared.

Nadler had foreshadowed his plans of seeking out the report in an op-ed to The New York Times on Monday.

"We — the members of the Judiciary Committee, the House of Representatives and the entire American public — are still waiting to see that report," Nadler wrote. "We will not wait much longer. We have an obligation to read the full report, and the Department of Justice has an obligation to provide it, in its entirely, without delay. If the department is unwilling to produce the full report voluntarily, then we will do everything in our power to secure it for ourselves."

Bill Browder, a British businessman who is wanted by Russian President Vladimir Putin and who Trump humored handing over to the despot during last year's Helsinki summit, told Salon on Tuesday that he believes the American people have a right to see the report.

"I think that more than 20 FBI agents, more than $20 million was spent doing this analysis," Browder told Salon. "There's huge resources put into it, and if it was not shown to the American public, then there would be doubts going into perpetuity. And so I think it's in Trump's interest, if he believes he has been vindicated, to share the report with the world so everyone can now share that same feeling."

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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