House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) demanded Thursday that special counsel Robert Mueller testify before the committee about the findings in his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
In an open letter, Nadler said he wanted Mueller to come before the committee before May 23. He joined other top Democrats ― including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) — in calling for Mueller to take questions after the anticipated release of the redacted version of his report on Thursday.
“As I have already communicated before the Justice Department, I request your testimony before the Judiciary Committee as soon as possible,” Nadler wrote.
Pelosi called out the Trump administration and Attorney General William Barr, whom she said was allowing the president to “spin the public’s view” of the report by giving him a “sneak preview” before he redacted and released it to the public.
After the report was released, Nadler issued a statement lashing out at Barr for “undermin[ing] his own Department in order to protect President Trump,” and declaring that he’d issue a subpoena to get a copy of the full report.
“Contrary to public reports, I have not heard from the Department about receiving a less-redacted version of the report,” Nadler said. “Because Congress requires this material in order to perform our constitutionally-mandated responsibilities, I will issue a subpoena for the full report and the underlying materials.”
Additionally, Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who chairs the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, wrote a letter asking Mueller to also testify in front of his committee in May. Schiff noted that “the committee must be kept ‘fully and currently informed’ of the intelligence and counterintelligence findings” in the report.
Barr, meanwhile, defended Trump in a press conference hours ahead of the release of the report, saying the president faced “unprecedented” scrutiny the moment he took office.
“President Trump faced an unprecedented situation,” Barr said at a news conference at the Justice Department. “As he entered into office, and sought to perform his responsibilities as president, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office, and the conduct of some of his associates.”
He continued: “At the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the president’s personal culpability. Yet, as he said from the beginning, there was in fact no collusion.”
This has been updated throughout.