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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voted on Wednesday to authorize subpoenas for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full, unredacted report and underlying evidence from his investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election.
The 24-17 vote along party lines - with Democrats in favor and President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans opposed - authorized the panel’s chairman, Jerrold Nadler, to subpoena Mueller’s material. The measure also authorized Nadler, a Democrat, to subpoena documents and testimony from five former Trump aides, including former political adviser Steve Bannon and former White House Counsel Donald McGahn.
Committee - Vote - Pressure - Attorney - General
The committee vote escalated congressional pressure on Attorney General William Barr to hand over all that Mueller documented during his 22-month probe, including grand jury evidence.
The committee’s focus shifted to subpoenas when it became clear that Barr would ignore a Democratic demand for him to turn over the full report by April 2. Barr has pledged to release the nearly 400-page report by mid-April, but were certain portions blacked out for reasons such as protecting secret grand jury information and intelligence-gathering sources and methods.
Democrats - Concern - Barr - Trump - Appointee
Democrats have expressed concern Barr, a Trump appointee, could use redactions to suppress evidence of potential misconduct by the president and his campaign.
“The Trump administration has an idea. They want to redact the Mueller report before they provide it to Congress,” Nadler said at committee meeting before the vote. “This committee has a job to do. ... That job requires us to evaluate the evidence for ourselves.”
Doug - Collins - Committee - Republican - Nadler
Representative Doug Collins, the committee’s top Republican, said Nadler took the action because Democrats are “desperate for dirt on this president.”
“This is reckless. It’s irresponsible. And it’s disingenuous,” Collins said. “It’s also confusing since the attorney general is doing exactly what he said he would be doing: making as much of the report public as possible...
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