Donald Trump’s one-month-old Attorney General (AG) William Barr has been slow-walking the Mueller report as he drags his redacting pen over line after line after line. That has given the president plenty of time to take Barr’s favorable interpretation, magnify it, and beat the public up with it until they are tired of the whole thing. Now, people just want to move on, so what should the Democrats do?
House Intelligence committee chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) seemed to confirm that Barr’s editing was going to create a document impossible to work with. Chairman Schiff said that the special counsel “is going to have to testify:”
‘I think it’s inevitable that Bob Mueller is going to have to testify before Congress.’
The Intelligence committee chair was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, to discuss the matter. He indicated that a number of congressional panels will want Mueller to come before them:
‘We’ll have an interest in his testimony or others on the issue of the counterintelligence findings. And the Judiciary Committee, maybe the Oversight (and Reform) Committee as well, might have an interest in other aspects of investigation.”
Schiff added that the intel committee has had “a statutory requirement” for the FBI to brief its members and certainly the Mueller report goes far beyond that requirement:
‘(The intelligence committee had) a statutory requirement that the intelligence community, FBI, brief us on any significant counterintelligence or intelligence activity. And it’s hard to imagine something that rises more to that level than this investigation.’
After Mueller completed his report, he turned it over to Barr as required. He gave the pro and con evidence in the nearly 400 page document. Officials believe that the indices could run two or three times that length, and the supporting materials would run far more than that.
Even so, Barr sent Congress a three and one-half page letter declaring that since the special counsel did not come up with a conclusion, he would. It came as no surprise that Barr decided that Mueller found no conspiracy between POTUS’ presidential campaign and Moscow.
Barr also said that since Mueller did not make a decision about the possibility of the man who occasionally sits in the Oval Office obstructing evidence, there just was not enough evidence there to prove obstruction. Then, the AG slipped in words contrary to that effect to cover himself.
Judiciary committee Jerry Nadler (D-NY) threatened to subpoena the Department of Justice (DOJ) to obtain the report on Russia’s attack on the 2016 presidential election and Trump. He set the firm of April 2 deadline for Barr to turn over everything. The AG let the deadline come and go without comment. As a result, the Judiciary committee just voted to approve Nadler subpoenaing the DOJ for the complete Mueller report. That included all of the indices and supporting evidence, too.
However, Nadler has given Barr a little more time in order to establish a case for cooperation. The Judiciary chair said, according to CNN:
‘We are going to work with the AG for a short period of time and hope that he will reveal to us the entire Mueller report and all the underlying materials, and we’ll go to court to get permission to have this material. But if that doesn’t work out, in a very short order, we will issue the subpoenas.’
Nadler sent out four subpoenas to former White House employees today.