Wednesday: House Judiciary to Hold Markup to Authorize Subpoenas for Full Mueller Report and Related Matters
Washington, D.C. – On April 3, 2019 at 9 a.m., the House Judiciary Committee will markup a resolution to authorize subpoenas for Special Counsel Mueller’s full and complete report, its underlying evidence and related matters.
This markup will provide the Committee an opportunity to vote on authorizing the issuance of subpoenas. The timing of the issuance will be left to the discretion of Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) released the following statement on the markup to authorize the subpoena for the full and complete Mueller report and evidence:
“As I have made clear, Congress requires the full and complete Special Counsel report, without redactions, as well as access to the underlying evidence. Attorney General Barr has thus far indicated he will not meet the April 2 deadline set by myself and five other Committee chairs, and refused to work with us to provide the full report, without redactions, to Congress. The Attorney General should reconsider so that we can work together to ensure the maximum transparency of this important report to both Congress and the American people. The full and complete report must be released to Congress without delay.”
The resolution to be marked up will also authorize subpoenas to five individuals, Donald McGahn, Steven Bannon, Hope Hicks, Reince Priebus and Ann Donaldson. All of these individuals were sent document requests on March 4, 2019, as part of the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation into the alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by President Trump, his associates, and members of his Administration. These individuals may have received documents from the White House relevant to the Special Counsel investigation and the Committee’s investigation, or their outside counsel may have. That would waive any applicable privileges under the law and prevent privileges from being used to block requests for documents. The Committee will be authorizing subpoenas as the next step in its efforts to obtain these documents and related testimony. The Committee will not need to issue subpoenas if the documents are produced.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) released the following statement on the markup to authorize subpoenas for five individuals who may have received documents from the White House relevant to the Special Counsel investigation:
“Several weeks ago, I sent document requests to 81 individuals and entities as part of the House Judiciary Committee investigation into abuse of power, corruption and obstruction of justice by the President. I am grateful to the many individuals who have cooperated with our initial request for documents. Regrettably, not everyone has chosen to voluntarily cooperate with the Committee at this time. I am particularly concerned about reports that documents relevant to the Special Counsel investigation were sent outside the White House, waving applicable privileges. To this end, I have asked the Committee to authorize me to issue subpoenas, if necessary, to compel the production of documents and testimony.”
Background on Special/Independent Counsel Precedent
Making Special Counsel Mueller’s report public is consistent with the intent of the Special Counsel Regulations, past precedent, and most importantly, the interests of the American public.
- Watergate – On March 18, 1974, at the request of Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski, Judge Sirica orders a 55-page grand jury road map be provided to the House Judiciary Committee.
- Ken Starr – a 455 page report along with 18 boxes of evidence, including voluminous grand jury information, was provided to the House Judiciary Committee on September 9, 1998 (it was shared before the House authorized an impeachment inquiry on October 8). The information was not shared with the White House in advance. The release was authorized by the then Independent Counsel Statute but Starr also formally requested that the Special Division of the DC Circuit approve, which they did.
Precedent Reinforced in Past Two Years (115th Congress):
- As of July 2018, the Department of Justice provided over 880,000 pages of internal investigative records to Congress from the Clinton probe, as well as thousands of pages from highly sensitive documents, including classified and law enforcement sensitive information, related to the ongoing Russian investigation that Special Counsel Mueller took over.
- The documents turned over for the closed Clinton investigation included sensitive classified, law enforcement sensitive, and unclassified materials, including internal investigatory and deliberative material, produced to the House Intelligence, Oversight, and Judiciary Committees.
- The documents turned over in the ongoing Russia investigation included: a highly sensitive FISA application and renewals, and the corresponding “Woods” file of substantiating materials; sensitive witness and source-related materials; voluminous internal FBI and DOJ correspondence; other investigative records; and text messages related to U.S. government employees. The Department also eventually released publicly previously classified FISA-related information, after the President declassified the Nunes memo (which included highly sensitive information related to the beginning of the Russia investigation).
- The public interest, and Congress’s constitutionally-grounded institutional interest, in the underlying evidence is much more profound and fundamental for Mueller’s investigation than any into Hillary Clinton’s emails, because it involves the President and his associates. The President has repeatedly sought to interfere in this investigation, and if the Department fails to make the Mueller report public in its entirety and turn over the underlying evidence to Congress, it may be actively facilitating a cover-up.
Background on the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation
On March 4, 2019, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) unveiled an investigation by the House Judiciary Committee into the alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by President Trump, his associates, and members of his Administration. As a first step, the Committee served document requests to 81 agencies, entities, and individuals believed to have information relevant to the investigation.
The Committee’s investigation covers three main areas:
- Obstruction of Justice, including the possibility of interference by the President and others in a number of criminal investigations and other official proceedings, as well as the alleged cover-up of violations of the law;
- Public Corruption, including potential violations of the emoluments clauses of the U.S. Constitution, conspiracy to violate federal campaign and financial reporting laws, and other criminal misuses of official positions for personal gain; and
- Abuses of Power, including attacks on the press, the judiciary, and law enforcement agencies; misuse of the pardon power and other presidential authorities; and attempts to misuse the power of the Office of the Presidency.