House Democrats subpoena the full Mueller report and its underlying evidence

  • The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed a full, un-redacted version of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report in the Russia investigation on Friday.
  • The move came after the Justice Department released a lightly-redacted version of the document on Thursday.
  • The report featured several key findings that stood in sharp contrast to what Attorney General William Barr told Congress and the public about Mueller’s conclusions.
  • House Judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler said the panel is “entitled” to the full report, as well as its underlying evidence, adding that the redactions “appear to be significant.”
  • Nadler said that “even the redacted version of the report outlines serious instances of wrongdoing by President Trump and some of his closest associates.”
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House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler issued a subpoena for the full, un-redacted report in the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s election interference on Friday.

Nadler said he expects the Justice Department to deliver the full report to the committee by May 1.

On Thursday, the department released a lightly redacted version of the report. According to ProPublica, around 6% of the document was redacted.

“My Committee needs and is entitled to the full version of the report and the underlying evidence consistent with past practice. The redactions appear to be significant. We have so far seen none of the actual evidence that the Special Counsel developed to make this case,” Nadler said in a statement Friday.

Nadler added that “even the redacted version of the report outlines serious instances of wrongdoing by President Trump and some of his closest associates. It now falls to Congress to determine the full scope of that alleged misconduct and to decide what steps we must take going forward.”

On Thursday evening, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement on Thursday accusing Attorney General William Barr of “deliberately distorting” Mueller’s final report.

Barr said in an initial summary of Mueller’s findings that prosecutors did not find sufficient evidence to bring a criminal conspiracy charge against President Donald Trump or anyone on his campaign for coordinating with Russia during the 2016 election.

Barr also said he had determined that Trump did not obstruct justice after Mueller’s team declined to make a “traditional prosecutorial judgment” on the matter.

Read more:
The 11 biggest takeaways from the Mueller report

But Mueller’s report painted a more nuanced picture.

The report did say, as Barr mentioned, that Mueller’s investigation did not find a Trump-Russia criminal conspiracy.

But prosecutors prefaced that finding with a significant caveat: “The investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and … the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.”

Barr made no mention of that finding by prosecutors in his initial summary of the report, in a subsequent letter to Congress, during several days of testimony before Congress, or at his Thursday press conference.

Barr also told reporters Mueller’s decision not to bring an obstruction charge against Trump was not influenced by Justice Department guidelines that state a sitting president cannot be indicted.

He said that in fact, Mueller’s determination – or lack thereof – was prompted by the inconclusive nature of the evidence.

Read more:

One paragraph in the Mueller report illustrates how selectively Barr quoted the document in his public statements

But in his report, Mueller did not cite the nature of, or lack of, evidence as a reason he did not come to a decision on obstruction. He did, however, cite the policy against charging a sitting president.

In other words, Mueller implied his conclusion in the obstruction case did not hinge on a lack of evidence. Instead, the special counsel appeared to determine that even if he wanted to charge Trump with a crime – and he laid out multiple instances in which the president appeared to meet the threshold necessary for obstruction – he is constrained by the current legal framework.

He further indicated that the decision on whether or not to penalise the president now falls to Congress.

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