The House Judiciary Committee has voted to allow its chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, to issue a subpoena to the Justice Department for special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report and all of its related evidence, the New York Times reports.
The Democrat-controlled committee voted along party lines to approve the subpoena, along with five other former Trump aides who are believed to be relevant to an ongoing investigation into possible obstruction of justice and corruption in the administration. They included former White House counsel Donald McGahn, his deputy Annie Donaldson, former chief strategist Steve Bannon, former White House communications director Hope Hicks and Trump’s first chief of staff Reince Priebus.
While the committee does not intend to issue the subpoenas right away, their authorization significantly increases the pressure on Attorney General William Barr to release Mueller’s full report. Barr recently sent a letter to Rep. Nadler and his counterpart in the Senate Judiciary Committee saying the Justice Department would redact the Mueller report and get it to Congress in mid-April without giving the White House a first look. However, Democrats in the committee have taken issue with the proposed terms of the redaction, and have said repeatedly that anything short of a full, unredacted report and all related evidence would be considered untrustworthy.
Even with the subpoenas, it’s still not entirely certain that Congress will get the full report. Barr has the option to stall his response to the subpoenas and even deny them outright, at which point lawmakers would be forced to either hold the Justice Department in contempt of Congress or open up formal court proceedings.
Barr released a four-page summary of Mueller’s findings to Congress last month, saying the nearly two-year investigation did not find conclusive evidence of obstruction of justice or collusion with Russia on the part of the President or his campaign. The report stopped short of definitively exonerating the President.