The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday authorized its chairman, New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler, to subpoena the full, unredacted Mueller report from Attorney General William Barr, NBC News is reporting.
The amount of the Mueller report that has been released to Congress, and by extension the general public, has been the subject of consternation in Washington even before it was released. Barr has the legal authority to release as much or as little of any report that crosses his desk as he sees fit, and even before Robert Mueller submitted his final report, Barr had hinted that he’d only release a summary once he got it. And indeed, he did just that, days after Mueller submitted his final report into possible interference in the 2016 election by Russian agents.
The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives has been adamant that Barr release the full report, even before Mueller had completed it. Now, only a summary has been released, and it will be weeks before any more of it is released. Even then, Barr has said that when he does release the full, 400-page report, much of it will be withheld or redacted.
Nadler is not having it.
“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.”
What’s more, Nadler says that Barr has been “refusing” to work with him.
Nadler doesn’t intend to issue the subpoena right away, however, according to The Hill. Rather, he intends to give Barr “some time” to change his mind about releasing the report.
Even if the Judiciary Committee issues the subpoena, it’s far from the last word on the release of the report. A judge would have to review the subpoena and then approve or deny it. Whichever decision the judge makes could very well be challenged by the losing side, setting up a lengthy court battle that could go as far as the Supreme Court.
Republicans, meanwhile, continue to insist that Barr’s summary of the Mueller report fully exonerates Donald Trump, and that any attempt at getting Barr to release more of it is little more than “political theater,” as Georgia Republican Doug Collins called it.
Donald Trump, for his part, had initially said that he welcomes the release of the full Mueller report. However, on Tuesday he appeared to have changed his mind.
“So there’s no collusion. The attorney general now and the deputy attorney general ruled no obstruction. They said no obstruction. Now we’re going to start this process all over again? I think it’s a disgrace. These are just Democrats that want to try and demean this country, and it shouldn’t be allowed.”