The House Judiciary Committee will begin authorizing subpoenas for the full special counsel report on April 3 if it’s not released voluntarily, Democratic leaders told Attorney General Bill Barr in a Monday letter.
The chairs of six congressional committees told Barr they’d prefer to avoid a “compulsory process,” but will do so unless they receive the unredacted report and underlying evidence.
“Congress can and has historically been provided with sensitive, unredacted, and classified material that cannot be provided to the general public,” the lawmakers wrote. “In addition, the American people deserve to be fully informed about these issues of extraordinary public interest, and therefore need to see the report and findings in Special Counsel Mueller’s own words to the fullest extent possible.”
The letter was signed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters, Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal and Foreign Affairs Chair Eliot Engel.
Barr updated Congress on the status of reviewing the “nearly 400 page” report in a Friday letter, saying he would be ready to send redacted version to lawmakers by mid-April. His four-page dispatch to Congress on the “principal conclusions” of the report — that Mueller did not establish coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, and did not opine on whether Trump obstructed justice — were never intended as a “summary,” the Attorney General clarified.
But Barr said his office needed time to pore over the full report, reviewing grand jury information, sensitive intelligence secrets, details that could affect other ongoing investigations and information that could damage the reputations of “peripheral third parties” who weren’t charged as part of the Mueller probe.
Democrats were unmoved by the missive, noting that grand jury information has been released to Congress in the past and that Barr can always ask a district court for permission to release it.
In their latest letter, they nix Barr’s suggestion that he come in to testify about his decision-making process in early May, saying they want him to come in as soon as possible.
“Congress must be permitted to assess the President’s conduct for itself,” the letter reads. “The Attorney General cannot unilaterally make himself judge and jury.”
Trump lashed out at the lawmakers behind the letter in Tuesday morning tweets, saying “NOTHING WILL EVER SATISFY THEM!”
Read the full letter below.