House approves resolution to enforce Barr and McGahn subpoenas

House approves resolution to enforce Barr and McGahn subpoenas

Attorney General William Barr testifies at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Tuesday. (Screenshot from House Appropriations Committee)

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives Tuesday afternoon approved a resolution that authorizes the Judiciary Committee to go to court to enforce subpoenas it has issued to Attorney General William Barr and former White House Counsel Don McGahn II.

The measure passed 229-191.

All Democrats voted yes. All Republicans voted no.

The subpoenas request documents related to Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

On April 18, Mueller released a redacted version of a 400-plus page report on his investigation. A day later, Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) issued a subpoena for the full report.

On April 22, the committee subpoenaed McGahn and several other former administration officials. The subpoena sought from McGahn both testimony and documents related to Mueller’s investigation.

The White House has invoked executive privilege to protect the report and to block McGahn from testifying.

Nadler announced on Monday that DoJ agreed to begin turning over some of the subpoenaed documents. He said because the agreement the House would hold off on pursuing criminal contempt charges.

The resolution the House passed today effectively holds both Barr and McGahn in civil “contempt.”

It not only authorizes the Judiciary Committee to sue, but grants the same power to the chairs of the other four committees or jurisdiction that are investigating the administration.

Mueller said at a news conference last month that President Donald Trump was not charged with obstruction because of Justice Department regulations that prohibit the indictment of a sitting president. It was the first time Mueller spoke publicly about the 22-month investigation, which concluded in March.

Both Trump and GOP lawmakers dismissed Mueller’s remarks as old news.

Mueller said he did not find evidence of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials. Mueller did not make a determination as to whether obstruction had occurred.

CNN reported Tuesday that Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday for a closed-door interview.
The committee issued a subpoena last month.

Trump Jr. met with the committee in 2017 for a nearly 20-hour closed-door interview.

Mueller’s report is believed to be the impetus for the subpoena.

The report is believed to have renewed the committee’s interest in a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting attended by Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner and a Kremlin-connected Russian attorney who allegedly offered to provide damaging information about then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

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