Democrats on a powerful House committee will vote Wednesday on a motion to subpoena Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report from the Justice Department and demand testimony from at least four former top Trump aides.

Former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, former Communications Director Hope Hicks, former White House Counsel Don McGahn and former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus are in the Judiciary Committee’s cross-hairs. 

A fifth person, Ann Donaldson, is also on the list. She was chief of staff to McGahn when he worked at the White House.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler has insisted on an April 2 deadline for Attorney General William Barr to turn over Mueller’s completed report about Russia’s election interference in 2016. He warned Monday that his patience is running thin.

President Trump griped in a tweet after Nadler announced his subpoena plot, ‘No matter what information is given to the crazed Democrats from the No Collusion Mueller Report, it will never be good enough. Behind closed doors the Dems are laughing!’  

So is Steve Bannon, a former White House strategist

Former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and  former Communications Director Hope Hicks, former White House Counsel Don McGahn and former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus are in the Judiciary Committee’s cross-hairs

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler is introducing a motion to subpoena Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report from the Justice Department and testimony from at least four former top Trump aides

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler is introducing a motion to subpoena Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report from the Justice Department and testimony from at least four former top Trump aides

Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler has insisted on an April 2 deadline for Attorney General William Barr to turn over Mueller's completed report about Russia's election interference in 2016

Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler has insisted on an April 2 deadline for Attorney General William Barr to turn over Mueller’s completed report about Russia’s election interference in 2016 

Priebus was Trump's chief of staff when the president dismissed James Comey as FBI director

Priebus was Trump’s chief of staff when the president dismissed James Comey as FBI director

Barr told Nadler and three other congressional judiciary committee leaders in a letter on Friday that his department is actively scouring the report for material that must be shielded from public view under federal law.

That includes classified information, material that would compromise U.S. intelligence sources and methods and anything that could jeopardize criminal cases.  

Republicans made similar hurry-up demands of Barack Obama’s State Department in 2015 and 2016 after former Secretary Hillary Clinton turned over more than half of the emails on her private server for archiving.

It took a group of government agencies more than a half-year to prepare those records for public release. 

Democrats still want the unredacted Mueller report, and Nadler said Monday that he will compel DOJ to produce if it does not volunteer the document.

‘We — the members of the Judiciary Committee, the House of Representatives and the entire American public — are still waiting to see that report. We will not wait much longer,’ he wrote in a New York Times op-ed. ‘We have an obligation to read the full report, and the Department of Justice has an obligation to provide it, in its entirely, without delay. If the department is unwilling to produce the full report voluntarily, then we will do everything in our power to secure it for ourselves.’

The judiciary committee’s Wednesday vote would not automatically result in subpoenas, but it would authorize Nadler to issue them. 

Nadler said the individuals in question were sent document requests on March 4, 2019 by the committee in relation to its investigation into ‘alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by President Trump, his associates, and members of his Administration.’

Democrats believe those individuals may have been in possession of documents associated with the special counsel investigation. 

‘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,’ a release said. 

Nadler claimed the president’s former staffers automatically waived privilege, if they took the documents with them when they left the White House.

‘To this end, I have asked the Committee to authorize me to issue subpoenas, if necessary, to compel the production of documents and testimony,’ he said in a statement.

Hicks served as the president’s spokeswoman during his campaign and worked in his communications office until she left the White House in March of 2018. She helped construct a statement on his son’s meeting at Trump Tower with a lawyer he believed he was meeting to obtain dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Bannon also worked on the Trump campaign in the general election and served as a senior adviser to the president until a few months after the president fired James Comey. 

Priebus departed the White House shortly before Bannon did. He did not work for the campaign but worked closely with Trump and his staff in the general election as chairman of the national party.

The president sent this tweet after Nadler moved to subpoena his former White House staffers

The president sent this tweet after Nadler moved to subpoena his former White House staffers

Trump is pictured returning to the White House on Sunday evening with first lady Melania Trump

Trump is pictured returning to the White House on Sunday evening with first lady Melania Trump

President Trump began his work week by mocking Democrats who insisted for months that he or his associates must have colluded with the Kremlin on election meddling

President Trump began his work week by mocking Democrats who insisted for months that he or his associates must have colluded with the Kremlin on election meddling

Ranking House Judiciary Republican Doug Collins sent out statement railing against the anticipated vote and subpoenas after Nadler signaled his intent to news outlets and in the New York Times.

‘Judiciary Democrats have escalated from setting arbitrary deadlines to demanding unredacted material that Congress does not, in truth, require and that the law does not allow to be shared outside the Justice Department,’ he said. ‘It’s unfortunate that a body meant to uphold the law has grown so desperate that it’s patently misrepresenting the law, even as the attorney general has already demonstrated transparency above and beyond what is required.’

Nadler insisted in his Times op-ed that Barr was the one who overstepped.  

‘The attorney general’s recent proposal to redact the special counsel’s report before we receive it is unprecedented. We require the evidence, not whatever remains after the report has been filtered by the president’s political appointee,’ he wrote.  

Trump has railed against the investigation since it ended and claimed that exonerated him on obstruction of justice and cleared his campaign of any collusion with Russia in the 2016 election.  

He claimed Tuesday morning that ‘most Democrats’ had gotten back to business, while ‘others’ are in denial over the special counsel’s findings.

‘Now that the long awaited Mueller Report conclusions have been released, most Democrats and others have gone back to the pre-Witch Hunt phase of their lives before Collusion Delusion took over. Others are pretending that their former hero, Bob Mueller, no longer exists!’ he said in his first tweet of the day. 

Trump on Sunday called for an investigation into how the special counsel probe against him and his campaign began, continuing a drum beat against Robert Mueller’s look into collusion and obstruction of justice. 

‘Everybody is asking how the phony and fraudulent investigation of the No Collusion, No Obstruction Trump Campaign began. We need to know for future generations to understand. This Hoax should never be allowed to happen to another President or Administration again!’ he wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

Trump on Sunday called for an investigation into how the special counsel probe against him and his campaign began, continuing a drum beat against Robert Mueller's look into collusion and obstruction of justice

Trump on Sunday called for an investigation into how the special counsel probe against him and his campaign began, continuing a drum beat against Robert Mueller’s look into collusion and obstruction of justice

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday it was important to find out what went wrong around Mueller’s investigation and media reports over the past 22 months claiming there was collusion. 

He said the White House has not read the full report, merely Attorney General William Barr’s summary that went to lawmakers.

‘I have read the Barr summary, which is what everybody else has read,’ Mulvaney said on CNN.

Trump said on Friday he is on board with Barr’s decision to release the nearly 400-page Mueller report – minus several categories of redactions that are already drawing scrutiny.

‘I have great confidence in the new attorney general, if that’s what he’d like to do,’ Trump told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago club. ‘I have nothing to hide,’ the president said.

Trump then went on the attack against the Mueller probe, the product of which Barr would be releasing following a redaction process, according to a new letter from the attorney general.

‘This was a hoax. This was a witch hunt. I have absolutely nothing to hide. And I think a lot of things are coming out with respect to the other side,’ Trump said. 

The comment was a veiled reference to Democrats and other critics who have been set back by summary findings that Mueller did not find evidence that his campaign conspired with the Russian government.

'I have nothing to hide,' President Trump said Friday. He was speaking to reporters at Mar-a-Lago alongside outgoing Administrator of the Small Business Administration Linda McMahon

‘I have nothing to hide,’ President Trump said Friday. He was speaking to reporters at Mar-a-Lago alongside outgoing Administrator of the Small Business Administration Linda McMahon

By Friday evening, Trump took his attacks on Mueller online, casting the prosecutor who Trump earlier bragged ‘totally exonerated’ him as a partisan idolized by the ‘Radical Left.’

‘Robert Mueller was a Hero to the Radical Left Democrats, until he ruled that there was No Collusion with Russia (so ridiculous to even say!). After more than two years since the ‘insurance policy’ statement was made by a dirty cop, I got the answers I wanted …’ Trump wrote, referencing an FBI email uncovered through an Inspector General’s investigation

‘The problem is,’ Trump followed up in another tweet, ‘no matter what the Radical Left Democrats get, no matter what we give them, it will never be enough. Just watch, they will Harass & Complain & Resist (the theme of their movement). So maybe we should just take our victory and say NO, we’ve got a Country to run!’ he wrote.  

Earlier on Friday afternoon, Barr told the chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees that he expects to release Mueller’s final report in the next two weeks, and that he will testify publicly about it in early May.  Mueller completed his investigation on March 22.

The event that sparked the $25 million, 22-month probe was a concern from federal officials that there was a tie between Trump’s campaign and hacked emails from Democrats that appeared on Wikileaks. 

William Barr

Barr told the chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees that he expects to release Mueller’s final report in the next two weeks, and that he will testify publicly about it in early May

A turning point came when President Trump fired FBI James Comey on May 9, 2017. He later asked a friend to leak details from his memos of meetings with Trump, to a friendly reporter, in the hope that it would lead to the appointment of a special counsel.

Democrats were outraged and started a special counsel drumbeat. With Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the sidelines because he had been a foreign policy adviser to Trump’s campaign, his deputy Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller to the job eight days later.

Mueller’s investigation was the subject of numerous news reports, which depicted a colorful cast of characters who wormed their way into Trump’s campaign and put the new administration on the defensive.

In the end, Mueller concluded that neither President Trump nor his campaign colluded with Russians in order to improve his chances of beating Democrat Hilary Clinton.

The special counsel did not draw a conclusion ‘one way or the other’ on whether the president obstructed justice, according to the findings, but left that decision to Attorney General William Barr, who decided not to pursue them.

 

 

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