With Mueller on Justice staff, Barr has sway over testimony

Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Lindsey Graham speaks to the media after Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion between U.S. President Donald Trumpís campaign and Russia in the 2016 election on Capitol Hill in Was

With Mueller on Justice staff, Barr has sway over testimony

Barr should tell the House Democrats to take a flying leap.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone informed the House Judiciary Committee in a letter that ex-White House Counsel Don McGahn does not have the legal right to comply with a House of Representatives subpoena and disclose documents related to Mueller's investigation. In a resolution filed Monday morning, Nadler recommends that Barr be found guilty of contempt of Congress. "At the moment, our plans to consider holding Attorney General Barr accountable for his failure to comply with our subpoena still stand", he said.

"In some corners, special counsel Mueller came to be regarded as a kind of secular saint, destined to rescue the country from the inconvenient truth that the American people actually elected Donald Trump", he said.

Nearly 500 former U.S. Justice Department officials said on Monday in a joint statement that the Mueller report's findings would justify obstruction charges against President Donald Trump if he were not now occupying the White House.

Six committees in the Democratic-controlled House are demanding the release of the full Mueller report as part of ongoing investigations into US President Donald Trump. Now, he said, lawmakers need the full version and the underlying evidence "to determine how to best move forward with oversight, legislation and other constitutional responsibilities".

The committee says contempt proceedings could be postponed if Barr makes a "good faith" effort to resolve the dispute.

With the contempt vote looming Wednesday, staff members from the House Judiciary Committee met with Justice Department officials on Tuesday afternoon.

Attorney General William Barr (L) and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein arrive to speak about the release of the redacted version of the Mueller report at the Department of Justice in Washington on April 18, 2019. Sections of the publicly-released version of Mueller's report detailing the actions of Russia's "Internet Research Agency" (IRA) and other Russian hacking operations "contain significant redactions, which impair the ability of the Committee to gain a complete understanding of Russia's actions", the contempt report states.

The panel will vote on whether to move ahead with a contempt citation on Wednesday, and if it does so, the full House will vote on the issue. But that step is unlikely to lead to criminal charges.

Almost 400 former federal prosecutors have signed on to a statement concluding that President Trump would be facing obstruction of justice charges were he not in the White House.

But the letter appeared likely to add impetus to efforts by Democrats in Congress to hold hearings on Trump's behavior and possibly even launch impeachment proceedings against the Republican leader. Trump has signaled he will try to block McGahn from appearing, despite a committee subpoena.

If successful, it will then go before the full, Democrat-controlled House. Barr also skipped a hearing before the committee last week.

According to Mueller, Trump tried to have him fired as special counsel and tried to control the ultimate scope of the investigation "to prevent further investigative scrutiny of the President's and his campaign's conduct".

Senate Democrats say Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is "afraid" of the findings from special counsel Robert Mueller and failing to protect USA elections.

The top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Congressman Doug Collins, condemned Nadler's move to hold Barr in contempt.

Democrats in the US House of Representatives have made a decision to launch contempt proceedings against Attorney General William Barr. Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Pelosi's accusations are "reckless, irresponsible and false".

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