House Democrats make deal to see Mueller files on Trump

House Democrats make deal to see Mueller files on Trump

House Democrats make deal to see Mueller files on Trump

By / USA News / Wednesday, 12 June 2019 07:21

The House expects to receive the first files of underlying evidence from Robert Mueller’s report soon, after a sudden shift by the Justice Department as Democrats weigh impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

It’s unclear if the deal, announced just moments before the start of a Judiciary Committee hearing with Watergate star witness John Dean, will ultimately be enough for Democrats who have called for the full, unredacted report and underlying documentation from the special counsel’s work. But it signaled the first real breakthrough in the standoff over the report and came at the start of a week of ramped-up action by the House in the Trump-Russia probe.

The sudden turn of events came ahead of a pivotal week for House Democrats, who are torn over whether to move forward with impeachment proceedings and searching for ways to focus public attention on Trump’s actions.

Dean, a White House counsel under Richard Nixon who helped bring down his presidency, testified Monday that Mueller has provided Congress with a “road map” for investigating Trump.

In response to the agreement, Nadler said the panel will not vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in criminal contempt, for now. But the House will still vote on a resolution Tuesday that would empower the committee to file a civil lawsuit for the materials, if Democrats decide to do so.

“If the Department proceeds in good faith and we are able to obtain everything that we need, then there will be no need to take further steps,” Nadler said in a statement. “If important information is held back, then we will have no choice but to enforce our subpoena in court and consider other remedies.”

He said he saw parallels between Mueller’s findings regarding Trump and those of congressional investigators looking into Nixon’s administration decades ago. He pointed to the way the presidents used their pardon power in an attempt to influence witness testimony, and their efforts to seize control of the investigation and direct the efforts of prosecutors.

At times, Dean, who said he last appeared before Congress in 1974, was forced to fend off attacks from committee Republicans.

The top Republican on the committee, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, dismissed Dean as a “godfather” figure. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, criticized Dean’s work and noted he pleaded guilty after Watergate. And Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, a Trump ally, derided his appearance as a Capitol Hill version of “That ‘70s Show.”

In addition to Dean, two former U.S. attorneys who served during the Obama administration, Barbara McQuade and Joyce Vance, also testified before the committee. Both have become regulars on cable news shows, analyzing developments in the Mueller investigation and offering criticism on Twitter of the president’s conduct.

Author

Hum Hindustani

Hum Hindustani

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