House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff has said that he believes there will likely be further indictments from Robert Mueller as the full contents of his report are looked at in closer detail.
Schiff suggested he would call the special counsel before a House panel if necessary to learn what is contained in the long-awaited document.
‘If necessary, we will call Bob Mueller or others before our committee, I would imagine the judiciary committee may call the attorney general if necessary,’ the California Democrat said during an interview Friday on CNN.
House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff said Friday that he’s willing to subpoena Robert Mueller and Attorney General Barr, if needed, to push for disclosure
‘At the end of the day, the department is under a statutory obligation to provide our committee with any information regarding significant intelligence activities, including counterintelligence. And it’s hard to imagine anything more significant than what Bob Mueller has been investigating.
‘We have a right to be informed, and we will demand to be informed about it.’
Special Counsel Robert Mueller turned over his report to AG William Barr Friday afternoon
Schiff was asked by Wolf Blitzer if he would be satisfied if ‘the most sensitive information’ obtained by Mueller was only shared with the so-called ‘gang of eight’.
‘No, it would not suffice. Now, there may be a select sub-section of information they feel they can only share because of the very sensitive sources which derived the information, but the volumes of information that has been found needs to be shared with the whole committee so we can evaluate what steps have to be taken to protect the country.
‘We’re going to need to have the same sort of discovery that we saw during the last Congress, and indeed it may be far more extensive than that, to make sure that U.S. policy is driven by U.S. interest and not because the president or anyone around him is looking to make money from the Kremlin on a tower or anything else.’
In another interview with MSNBC, Schiff said that it is entirely likely that more indictments could be forthcoming, saying instead it is ‘entirely possible, if not likely, that there will be’ more.
‘Well, what it means is that the office of the special counsel, which is essentially a contract attorney to the Justice Department, that that office won’t be bringing any further indictments,’ he said.
‘It doesn’t mean, of course, that main justice or the Seventh District of New York and the Eastern District or others may not bring indictments.
‘In fact, given the lengthy redactions in many of the pleadings of the special counsel eluding to other investigations, I think it’s entirely possible if not likely that there will be other indictments.
‘Now, how central or peripheral they’ll be to the core issues of potential conspiracy is yet to be determined.’
How the news broke: This is the letter Bill Barr, the attorney general, sent to the chairs and ranking members of the Judiciary Committees, revealing the Mueller probe is over
Though Trump himself has said the report should be made public, it’s not clear whether the administration would fight subpoenas for testimony or block the transmission of grand jury material.
If the administration decides to fight, lawmakers could ask federal courts to step in and enforce a subpoena. A court fight could, in theory, reach the Supreme Court. But few tussles between Congress and the White House get that far. They often are resolved through negotiation.
The Democrats, led by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, could also formally ask Mueller to send his committee evidence that could be used in possible impeachment proceedings against Trump, as suggested by Benjamin Wittes, a senior Brookings Institution fellow and editor-in-chief of the Lawfare blog.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are demanding to see the full Mueller report immediately
‘There is no reason on God’s green earth why Attorney General Barr’ shouldn’t release the full report, said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer
With Attorney General William Barr vowing to rush out information on the report’s ‘principal conclusions’ as soon as this weekend, Democrats were insisting they see both the complete document and the evidence in its entirety.
‘It is imperative for Mr. Barr to make the full report public and provide its underlying documentation and findings to Congress,’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said in a joint statement.
‘Attorney General Barr must not give President Trump, his lawyers or his staff any ‘sneak preview’ of Special Counsel Mueller’s findings or evidence, and the White House must not be allowed to interfere in decisions about what parts of those findings or evidence are made public,’ the leaders said.
‘The American people have a right to the truth. The watchword is transparency,’ they said.
President Donald Trump talks with reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, in Washington
Speaking to reporters Friday, Schumer said: ‘The American people have a right to the truth. The watchword is transparency.’
He added: ‘The president himself has called without qualification or the report to be made public. There is no reason on God’s green earth why Attorney General Barr should do any less.’
Schumer predicted the effort ultimately would prevail due to public sentiment.
‘The demand of the public is overwhelming to see the report when it’s on such a serious matter and it will be made public. Public pressure will force it to be,’ he said.
Barr himself pledged transparency during his Senate confirmation hearing. But the strong defender of presidential power also left open the possibility he would share his own summary, rather than the report itself, to Congress – a move that would provoke a fight with the Democratic House.
Although there were reports Mueller would bring no additional indictments, there remained the possibility of indictments already sealed, or that another body such as the Southern District of New York wold bring indictments.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, told MSNBC there was a ‘high probability’ that could happen.
‘I think there is a strong possibility of additional indictments, including president Trump’s family,’ Blumenthal said Friday evening.
‘Maybe not by the Department of Justice, main Justice. But by other offices. I know that you want to stick to the Mueller report. But the Mueller report cannot be viewed in isolation,’ the former prosecutor and Trump nemesis continued. ‘Any more than an investigation, even though it may end, cannot lead to additional investigative leads and actions. And so I think there’s a high probability of additional indictments.’
With the White House already resisting document requests from the Democratic Congress, lawmakers want to get hold of Mueller’s work product and use it as the basis for additional investigation.
Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, a member of the Intelligence and Judiciary panels, bluntly told CNN Friday afternoon: ‘We want the full report. We want it now. We want it before the president is able to get it or make any edits.’
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who is ramping up his own investigations
The president is a subject. He’s a subject of the investigation. He has an inherent conflict of interest,’ Swalwell continued. ‘It’s really inappropriate that he would even touch this. IF he didn’t do anything wrong, he would keep his hands off it.’
Sand Senate Intelligence Committee Co-chair Democrat Mark Warner: ‘Congress and the American people deserve to judge the facts of the Mueller report for themselves. It must be provided to Congress immediately, and the AG should swiftly prepare a declassified version for the public. Nothing short of that will suffice.’
Warner added on Twitter: ‘Any attempt by the Trump Administration to cover up the results of this investigation into Russia’s attack on our democracy would be unacceptable.’
House Judiciary ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, a Republican of Georgia, joined the call for the release of the Mueller report.
‘After nearly two years, the special counsel has concluded his investigation, and I look forward to reviewing Attorney General Barr’s report carefully, when it becomes available. I fully expect the Justice Department to release the special counsel’s report to this committee and to the public without delay and to the maximum extent permitted by law,’ Collins said.
‘We want the full report. We want it now,’ said Rep. Eric Swalwell of California
Special Counsel Robert Muller arrives at his office building, Thursday, March 21, 2019, in Washington
Barr told key lawmakers: ‘I am reviewing the report and anticipate that I may be in a position to advise you of the Special Counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend,’ he wrote.
That raised the possibility that he would provide a mere summary of Mueller’s findings, which could leave information that didn’t result in charges out of the matter.
Trump said that he would have no objection to the public release of Mueller’s findings – although he was not specific as to what he would see released.
‘I don’t mind,’ he said.
‘Let it come out,’ Trump declared. ‘Let people see it.’
And White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told the public via Twitter Friday afternoon: ‘The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel’s report.’
BILL BARR’S LETTER REVEALING MUELLER PROBE IS OVER
Attorney General William Barr delivered a letter to Congress on Friday notifying the leaders of the Judiciary committees that special counsel Robert Mueller had submitted his report on the Russia investigation. The letter was addressed to Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, and Republican Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia.
Here is the text of the letter:
Dear Chairman Graham, Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Ranking Member Collins:
I write to notify you pursuant to 28 C.F.R. 600.9(a)(3) that Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III has concluded his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and related matters. In addition to this notification, the Special Counsel regulations require that I provide you with ‘a description and explanation of instances (if any) in which the Attorney General’ or acting Attorney General ‘concluded that a proposed action by a Special Counsel was so inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices that it should not be pursued.’ 28 C.F.R. 600.9(a)(3). There were no such instances during the Special Counsel’s investigation.
The Special Counsel has submitted to me today a ‘confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions’ he has reached, as required by 28 C.F.R. 600.8(c). I am reviewing the report and anticipate that I may be in a position to advise you of the Special Counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend.
Separately, I intend to consult with Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and Special Counsel Mueller to determine what other information from the report can be released to Congress and the public consistent with the law, including the Special Counsel regulations, and the Department’s long-standing practices and policies. I remain committed to as much transparency as possible, and I will keep you informed as to the status of my review.
Finally, the Special Counsel regulations provide that ‘the Attorney General may determine that public release of’ this notification ‘would be in the public interest.’ 28 C.F.R. 600.9(c) I have so determined, and I will disclose this letter to the public after delivering it to you.
William P. Barr