Nadler Has Subpoena for Full Mueller Report to See If Trump 'Abused His Office'

By Susan Jones | April 3, 2019 | 10:06am EDT
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) chairs the House Judiciary Committee. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

( - The Department of Justice wants to redact the Mueller report before sending it to Congress, but "[w]e have reason to suspect this administration's motives," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) told a contentious hearing on Wednesday.

The Democrat-majority committee ended up authorizing a subpoena for the full report, including all underlying documentation and evidence.

Nadler told the committee that Attorney General William Barr plans to redact four categories of information: grand jury information; classified information; information related to ongoing prosecutions; and information that may infringe on the privacy and reputation of "peripheral third parties."

But Nadler said Congress must see all of the information to fulfill its "constitutional duty."

"This committee requires the full report and the underlying materials because it is our job, not the attorney general's, to determine whether or not President Trump has abused his office," Nadler said. "And we require the report because one day, one way or another, the country will move on from President Trump. We must make it harder for future presidents to behave this way. We need a full accounting of the president's actions to do that work."

Special Counsel Robert Mueller spent 22 months investigating the president's actions and concluded there was no coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. Mueller did not reach a conclusion one way or another on obstruction.

President Trump on Tuesday, in both word and by tweet, said, "There is no amount of testimony or document production that can satisfy Jerry Nadler or Shifty Adam Schiff." He said Democrats "have become totally unhinged" because they dislike Mueller's conclusions, and they "would like to go through the whole process again."

Nadler told the committee on Wednesday that the Justice Department "is wrong to try to withhold" the full Mueller report and supporting materials from Congress.

"Congress is entitled to all of the evidence," Nadler said. He pointed to various precedents, including the Ken Starr report on President Bill Clinton, which included many volumes and boxes of documentation.

Nadler said he has asked Attorney General Barr to "work with us" by petitioning the courts to release grand jury information to Congress.

"He has so far refused," Nadler said. "I will give him time to change his mind. If we cannot reach an accommodation, we will have no choice but to issue subpoenas for these materials. And if the Department still refuses, then it should be up to a judge -- not the president and not his political appointees -- to decide whether or not it is appropriate for the committee to review the complete record."

Nadler said the resolution to be voted on today subpoenas two categories of information, including documents and testimony related to the full and unredacted Mueller report; and documents and testimony from "certain former White House employees," who have failed to produce documents to the Judiciary Committee voluntarily.

He named five of them: White House counsel Don McGahn, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, Trump's former secretary Hope Hicks, Trump's former chief of staff Reince Priebus, and Annie Donaldson, McGahn's former chief of staff.

"Because we may have to go to court to obtain the complete text of the Special Counsel's report, and because the president may attempt to invoke executive privilege to withhold that evidence from us, it is imperative that the committee take possession of these documents and others without delay," Nadler said.

Committee Republicans said the renewed effort to investigate the president is just more of the same coordinated effort to overturn the results of the 2016 election, in light of the Mueller report, which offered Democrats no political ammunition.

MRC Store