The House Judiciary Committee, in a statement on Monday, said it will also approve subpoenas for documents from five former Trump White House officials, including former chief of staff Reince Priebus, former senior adviser Steven Bannon, former communications director Hope Hicks, former White House counsel Don McGahn, and McGahn’s former deputy Ann Donaldson.
The issuance of subpoenas would follow Attorney General William Barr’s statement last week that he won’t meet the Judiciary Committee’s Tuesday deadline for handing over the report, which is more than 300 pages. He has said it will take “weeks, not months,” to redact sensitive parts of the report and release it to the public.
Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler on Monday urged Barr to reconsider trying to meet the Tuesday deadline. He added that the subpoenas related to the five former White House officials reflect that not everyone is cooperating with his committee’s requests.
“Several weeks ago, I sent document requests to 81 individuals and entities as part of the House Judiciary Committee investigation into abuse of power, corruption and obstruction of justice by the President,” Nadler said in the statement. “Regrettably, not everyone has chosen to voluntarily cooperate with the Committee at this time. ... To this end, I have asked the Committee to authorize me to issue subpoenas, if necessary, to compel the production of documents and testimony.”
Nadler further vowed, in an op-ed published in the New York Times on Monday, that his committee will do everything it can to force the release of the full report, without redactions.
“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,” Nadler wrote. “If the department is unwilling to produce the full report voluntarily, then we will do everything in our power to secure it for ourselves.”
If the department is unwilling to produce the full report voluntarily, then we will do everything in our power to secure it for ourselves.
Barr on March 24 released his own four-page summary of Mueller’s report. He said the special counsel found no evidence President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 election, but reached no conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice.
Trump has falsely said Barr’s summary of the report amounts to “a complete and total exoneration” for him.
Nadler called Barr’s summary inadequate.
“The entire reason for appointing the special counsel was to protect the investigation from political influence,” he wrote. “By offering us his version of events in lieu of the report, the attorney general, a recent political appointee, undermines the work and the integrity of his department. He also denies the public the transparency it deserves. We require the full report — the special counsel’s words, not the attorney general’s summary or a redacted version.”
Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) quickly fired back at Nadler’s subpoena plans, calling the Democrats’ demands “desperate” and unnecessary.
“Judiciary Democrats have escalated from setting arbitrary deadlines to demanding unredacted material that Congress does not, in truth, require and that the law does not allow to be shared outside the Justice Department,” Collins said in a statement. “It’s unfortunate that a body meant to uphold the law has grown so desperate that it’s patently misrepresenting the law, even as the attorney general has already demonstrated transparency above and beyond what is required.”
This article has been updated to include statements from Nadler and Collins.