Nadler backs off Barr – for now – after reaching agreement with DOJ on Mueller docs

(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and the Department of Justice have reportedly come to an agreement over requests for documents related to Robert Mueller’s investigation report.

The New York Democrat announced Monday that he would “hold the criminal contempt process in abeyance for now,” referring to the impending contempt charge against Attorney General William Barr.

“I am pleased to announce that the Department of Justice has agreed to begin complying with our committee’s subpoena by opening Robert Mueller’s most important files to us, providing us with key evidence that the Special Counsel used to assess whether the President and others obstructed justice or were engaged in other misconduct,” Nadler said in a statement, announcing that lawmakers could begin reviewing the first of the documents later Monday.

“All members of the Judiciary Committee — Democrats and Republicans alike — will be able to view them,” Nadler said.

He noted that although he would give the Justice Department time to “demonstrate compliance,” he could still move ahead and go to court to enforce the subpoena against Barr who has refused to comply with the request for him to appear before Nadler’s panel.

“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. 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.

“It is critical that Congress is able to obtain the information we need to do our jobs, ensuring no one is above the law and bringing the American public the transparency they deserve,” Nadler added.

According to The Hill:

The Justice Department said last week it would revive negotiations with Nadler’s panel over the subpoenaed materials if he removed “any threat of an imminent vote by the House of Representatives to hold the Attorney General in contempt.”

But Nadler appeared to reject the appeal and urged the Justice Department to return to the negotiating table “without conditions.”


“Tomorrow, the House is expected to consider H. Res. 430, a resolution authorizing the Committee to enforce its subpoenas in federal court. Some enforcement action may be necessary to obtain documents and testimony outside the scope of today’s agreement with the Department of Justice, including testimony from former White House Counsel Don McGahn,” Nadler said in his statement.

Rep. Doug Collins, who had slammed the political “spectacle” by Nadler’s subpoenas last month, offered praise for the Justice Department but called out Nadler for refusing, along with other Democrats, to take up Barr’s offer to view a redacted version of Mueller’s report in a secure room.

“The Justice Department has yet again offered accommodations to House Democrats, and I am glad Chairman Nadler — for the first time in months — has finally met them at the negotiating table,” Collins said in a statement.

“Is the chairman prepared to rescind his baseless recommendation to hold the attorney general in contempt, or do House Democrats still plan to green light lawsuits against the attorney general and former White House counsel tomorrow?” he asked.


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