The House Judiciary Committee today voted to authorize a subpoena for the full report produced by special counsel Robert Mueller. The vote sets the stage for open conflict between Congress and President Donald Trump over the report's release.
"I will give him time to change his mind. But if we cannot reach an accommodation, then we will have no choice but to issue subpoenas for these materials," House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said at Wednesday's subpoena markup meeting.
"And if the Department still refuses, then it should be up to a judge — not the President or his political appointee — to decide whether or not it is appropriate for the committee to review the complete record."
CNN reports that the committee is sending a warning to Attorney General William Barr not to redact Mueller's report:
Wednesday's vote, which was divided along party lines, comes the day after an April 2 deadline House Democrats set for Barr to provide the full Mueller report to Congress. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler now has the ability to issue a subpoena for Mueller's unredacted report as well as the underlying evidence collected during the 22-month investigation into Trump's team.
Nadler says he is not issuing the subpoena immediately, but Wednesday's action escalates the fight over Mueller's investigation between House Democrats and Trump, who has recently walked back his previous calls for the report to be released.
Barr has said he is working with Mueller to release a redacted version of the report, which totals nearly 400 pages, and plans to release it publicly around mid-April. But Democrats have said that a redacted report is not acceptable.
"The big question is, do we get the entire report and the documentation? Or does he redact it so it's meaningless?" Nadler told on CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday.
In addition to the Mueller report subpoena, the committee plans to vote to authorize five subpoenas Wednesday for former White House officials — Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Hope Hicks, Donald McGahn and Annie Donaldson — related to obtaining documents in the panel's investigation into possible obstruction of justice.
The subpoenas set the stage for a potential court fight with the Trump administration if the Justice Department will not provide what Democrats have requested. The committee does not plan to issue the subpoenas Wednesday, but once they are authorized, Nadler can issue them at any time afterward, according to a Democratic committee aide.
Nadler said yesterday he was "not committing" to waiting for Barr to release the report he's working on before issuing a subpoena, adding subpoenas would be used "as necessary."
Bring on the fight.
CNN's Manu Raju: "Are you willing to negotiate any middle ground in terms of redactions of the Mueller report?"
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler: "No. The committee must see everything" pic.twitter.com/F1IOTWIZaf
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 3, 2019
I'm a little tired of hearing "The House is heading to a clash with the Trump administration." Let's get it going already.
— Schooley (@Rschooley) April 3, 2019