House panel gives subpoena the go for Mueller report

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The disparity in length between Barr's letter and Mueller's full report, which totals almost 400 pages, raises the likelihood of additional significant information that was put forward by the special counsel's office but not immediately shared by the attorney general. But Mueller is also involved in deciding what can and can't be released from his report, and his summaries were written in such a way that they definitely can't be released to the public or to Congress?

Mueller was tasked with investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 United States election, whether members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with Moscow, and whether Trump obstructed justice in the investigation after then FBI Director James Comey publicly confirmed its existence in March 2017. And the Justice Department quickly determined that the summaries contain sensitive information, like classified material, secret grand-jury testimony and information related to current federal investigations that must remain confidential, according to two government officials. Barr said, unequivocally, that the report found zero evidence of collusion between Trump's campaign and the Russian government, although it didn't totally exonerate him, as Trump tried to claim, from other charges, such as obstruction of justice.

Absent such a determination, Barr told lawmakers that he concluded the evidence was not sufficient to prove that the president obstructed justice.

The House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines Wednesday to subpoena the Mueller report and underlying documents from Barr.

Nadler compared Mueller's report to the release of the Ken Starr report into President Bill Clinton, holding up boxes of information produced by Starr along with "some of the grand jury material" from the Nixon impeachment process. "I think it's inevitable that Mueller is going to testify at some point, but the first thing we need is the release of the report and the documents".

Nick Akerman, a member of the Watergate prosecution team, added that Barr's summary was nothing more than a "political letter" that made it sound as though there was nothing in the Mueller report that showed any wrongdoing by the president or his campaign team.

The Washington Post specifically alleged that Mueller's team prepared summaries that could be released publicly, reflecting different sections of Mueller's report, which Barr has so far withheld.

In another development, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee, led by Trump critic Adam Schiff, is seeking an interview with and documents from a top organiser on Trump's inaugural committee. "R. Crim. P. 6 (e)", which protects grand jury information.

Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., of the House Judiciary Committee says she is concerned about Congress's ability to enforce subpoenas. But he emphasized that he shared their interest in transparency, and would try to release the report by mid-April.

That wasn't good enough for the protesters, who assembled at more than 300 locations, including five in New Jersey and across from the White House on Thursday.

He also asked Mr Barr to hand over communications between the special counsel's team and the department about the report. And he said that Mueller did not reach a conclusion "one way or the other" as to whether Trump's conduct in office constituted obstruction of justice.