Wednesday, April 3, 2019

AG Barr's delay is looking more and more like a cover-up

The anticipated standoff between AG Barr and the House Democrats over the release of the Mueller report is here and now. There are two issues. One is how quickly Barr can and should release the report to Congress. The second, and likely more important, is the redactions that Barr has promised, both qualitative and quantitative.

Judd Legum (popular.info) has this update in his morning email.

Update: The Mueller report

Attorney General Bill Barr missed the Democrats’ deadline to turn over the Mueller report and the underlying evidence to Congress by Tuesday. Today, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are expected to authorize a subpoena to obtain the Mueller report. House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), however, is not expected to issue a subpoena immediately.

Instead, Democratic leaders have decided to give Barr more time.

Nadler is not expected to turn around and issue that subpoena to Barr straightaway, giving the attorney general at least a few days to hustle the report to Capitol Hill before resorting to legal measures and a potential court battle in an attempt to force his hand.

But many panel Democrats do not share Nadler’s patience and want the chairman to serve Barr with a summons for the report right away.

As we might expect, the Arizona Blue Meanie reports on the legal matters attending the release of the Mueller report and makes the case for no delay in House Judiciary Committee to subpoena Mueller Report and witnesses.

There is simply no legitimate reason for Barr’s delaying release of the Mueller report to Congress.

Quoting from the NY Times’ report on Seeking Full Mueller Report, House Democrats Prepare to Vote on Subpoena, the BlueMeanie comments:

Democrats control the Judiciary Committee by a sizable margin and most likely will not need Republican [Trump enablers] support to approve the subpoena. If approved, it would be up to Mr. Nadler to determine when and if to issue it — effectively increasing pressure on Mr. Barr to meet Democrats’ demands.

Serve it today would be my response.

In addition to authorizing a subpoena for the Mueller report, the Judiciary Committee will vote on Wednesday on subpoenas for five key witnesses in its investigation into possible obstruction of justice, abuse of power and corruption within the Trump administration.

The individuals are Donald F. McGahn II, a former White House counsel who spoke extensively with Mr. Mueller’s investigators; Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s former chief strategist; Hope Hicks, a former White House communications director; Reince Priebus, the president’s first chief of staff; and Annie Donaldson, a deputy of Mr. McGahn who took detailed notes on the president’s behavior during key episodes in his administration.

The five were among 81 individuals, companies and government entities from which the committee requested documents last month to kick-start its investigation. Mr. Nadler said he would not have to use the subpoenas if the witnesses changed course and complied voluntarily.

It’s time to end the Barr coverup and get on to the oversight work that Congress has an obligation to perform.

Also, Legum questions the curious delay by the House Dems in exercising their authority in the matter of Trump’s tax returns.

House Democrats appear oddly reticent to exercise their power. Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA), the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, has not yet requested Trump’s tax returns, despite having the clear legal authority to do so.

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