As the backlash over the release of the Mueller report continues to grow, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena on Friday, demanding that the Justice Department hand over the complete and unredacted version of the Mueller report and all of the underlying materials by May 1, The New York Times reports.
“Even the redacted version of the report outlines serious instances of wrongdoing by President Trump and some of his closest associates,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) .
“It now falls to Congress to determine the full scope of that alleged misconduct and to decide what steps we must take going forward.”
The release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings about President Trump has also revived calls for impeachment among some Democrats, Fox News reports.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unequivocally stated her opposition to impeachment proceedings against President Trump, but some members of her caucus are bringing the issue back.
“Mueller’s report is clear in pointing to Congress’ responsibility in investigating obstruction of justice by the President,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., tweeted.
Ocasio-Cortez announced she’ll sign onto Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s, D-Mich., resolution urging the House Judiciary Committee to probe whether Trump committed impeachment-level offenses.
While the special counsel declined to prosecute Trump on obstruction of justice, he did not exonerate him. Mueller’s report provides fresh evidence of Trump’s interference in the Russia probe, challenging lawmakers to respond. The risks for both parties are clear if they duck the responsibility or prolong an inquiry that may be just beginning, the Associated Press reports.
The Judiciary Committee has the power to launch impeachment proceedings. Attorney General William Barr sent Congress a redacted version of the report, blacking out several types of material, including classified information, material pertaining to ongoing investigations, and grand jury evidence.
The Nadler subpoena would likely prompt a lengthy legal and political battle over whether that material can be released. Republicans are eager to push past what Trump calls the “witch hunt” that has overshadowed the party and the presidency.
While Democrats say Mueller’s findings are far more serious than initially indicated in Barr’s four-page summary, they’ve been hesitant to pursue impeachment proceedings despite pressure from the left flank of the party to begin efforts to try to remove the president from office.
Next week, both the House and Senate are scheduled to hear from Barr. Mueller ultimately cited the DOJ guideline that indicting a sitting president would impair the ability of the executive branch to function.
“We concluded that Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice,” his report said.