The Roundup: June 6 – 12
This week, we saw Congress beginning to exercise their congressional oversight to get to the heart of the evidence Mueller laid out in his report.
On Monday, the House held their first round of public testimony on Mueller’s report, calling expert witnesses to speak about presidential obstruction of justice and cite the many parallels between Watergate and the Mueller investigation.
Then yesterday, the House voted to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in civil contempt after he refused to comply with a subpoena to release the full, unredacted Mueller report. Thanks to this vote, House members can now go to court to enforce this and all other subpoenas that have been issued to Trump administration officials.
Already, in the face of this vote, the Justice Department is beginning to cooperate to hand over previously withheld information related to the Mueller report — but only after they’ve allowed the White House to review it first. What does this mean? It means the man being investigated gets to filter which pieces of evidence his investigators get to see.
Trump and his cronies have been pulling out all the stops to cover up the criminal conduct that Mueller found. This week, the House stood up to their stonewalling — but it’s only a first step.
The American people need to know that the Mueller report isn’t a declaration of “no collusion, no obstruction” — it’s a call to Congress to follow the multitude of evidence pointing to criminal wrongdoing. And to follow that evidence, the House must launch an impeachment inquiry.
Remember: The Mueller investigation exposed over 140 links between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin — and showed that Trump welcomed Russia’s help to win the election. There are at least 10 examples of Trump and his team obstructing justice to prevent the truth from coming to light, including witness tampering, destroying evidence, and dangling pardons to dissuade key players from cooperating with the investigation. What’s more, Mueller himself publicly stated last week that he could not exonerate Trump and that, if he was certain that Trump hadn’t committed a crime, he would’ve said so.
It’s more critical now than ever to understand what’s contained in the Mueller report. As Rep. Adam Schiff said in his opening remarks during this morning’s House Intelligence hearing: “For those who have not yet read the Mueller report…they might be astonished to learn that a finding of no collusion, much less a finding of no obstruction, is nowhere to be seen on any page, or in any passage, of the Mueller report.”
An impeachment inquiry remains the only viable step to air all of the evidence of Trump’s criminal obstruction and hold him and his corrupt administration accountable. Call your representative now and demand they launch an immediately impeachment inquiry!
With the news moving this fast, it’s important to stay on top of the facts. Get up to speed with this week’s Roundup:
The New York Times: House Approves Court Action to Enforce Democrats’ Subpoenas
The resolution grants the Judiciary Committee the power to petition a federal judge to force Attorney General Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn to comply with congressional subpoenas that they have either completely or partly defied. It also empowers other House committees to move more quickly to court in future disputes.
Politico: House green-lights lawsuits against William Barr, Don McGahn over ignored subpoenas
The House approved a measure authorizing the Judiciary Committee to take Attorney General Barr to federal court to gain access to Mueller’s unredacted report and underlying evidence. The legislation also empowers Chairman Nadler to begin legal proceedings to force former White House counsel Don McGahn to cooperate with the panel’s probe into whether Trump obstructed justice. It grants sweeping authority to committee chairs to sue the administration in federal court to enforce their subpoenas, including efforts to obtain Trump’s tax returns and haul Mueller’s witnesses to Capitol Hill.
The New York Times: Justice Dept. Agrees to Turn Over Key Mueller Evidence to House
The Justice Department, after weeks of tense negotiations, has agreed to provide Congress with key evidence collected by Mueller that could shed light on possible obstruction of justice and abuse of power by Trump, the House Judiciary Committee said on Monday.
The Daily Beast: White House Will Preview Mueller Evidence Before Nadler Review: Admin Officials
Trump’s White House will work with the Justice Department to decide what exactly the Judiciary Committee gets to see. And, so far, the White House has not waived executive privilege regarding any of Mueller’s materials. Thus far, the administration has pushed back against congressional oversight efforts and Trump’s personal lawyers sued to try to block banks from sharing financial information with the House Financial Services Committee.
TIME: Watergate Star Witness Calls Mueller Report a ‘Roadmap’ for Investigating Trump
John Dean, a star witness during Watergate who helped bring down the Nixon presidency, testified Monday that Mueller has provided Congress with a “road map” for investigating Trump. Dean compared Mueller’s findings to those of congressional investigators looking into the Nixon administration decades ago.
Politico: Full text: Watergate’s John Dean gives statement on potential Trump obstruction
John Dean’s statement to the House Judiciary Committee on June 10, 2019, as prepared for delivery.
NBC News: House Democrats consider bills to ‘safeguard democracy’ in response to Mueller report
As Democrats prepare to launch a more “robust hearing and legislative strategy” across at least six committees to highlight Mueller’s investigation, they are discussing bills to magnify wrongdoing uncovered in Mueller’s report, including contacts with Russian entities.
Associated Press: Trump Jr. to speak with Senate panel Wednesday
Senators want to discuss answers Trump Jr. gave the panel’s staff in a 2017 interview, as well as answers he gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee in a separate interview behind closed doors that year.
BuzzFeed News: Listen To The Voicemail Trump’s Lawyer Left For Michael Flynn’s Lawyer After Flynn Cut A Deal
A federal judge ordered the release of a voicemail that John Dowd, one of Trump’s former lawyers, left for former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s lawyer in November 2017 after learning Flynn was pulling out of a joint defense agreement and could no longer share confidential information.
Newsweek: It’s been 160 days of Democratic majority in Congress. Where are Trump’s tax returns?
Despite the narrow scope and legitimate legislative purpose, Mnuchin failed to meet multiple deadlines set by Chairman Neal and ignored subsequent subpoenas requiring the disclosure of Trump’s tax returns. But his compliance with these lawful requests was not optional. By willfully ignoring these legitimate efforts to restore norms of transparency, Mnuchin has made a mockery of Congress and the Constitution that empowers it to conduct oversight of the executive branch.
Politico: Robert Mueller could be subpoenaed in the next two weeks
House Judiciary Chairman Nadler told Democratic leaders at a closed-door meeting this week that he could issue a subpoena to Mueller within two weeks if he is unable to reach an agreement to secure the former special counsel’s public testimony.
The Atlantic: Bill Barr’s Dangerous Claims
Attorney General Barr has repeatedly used the word “spying” to refer to the counterintelligence investigation into Russian contacts with Trump’s team in 2016. Barr’s loose use of language risks a panoply of harms, undermining public confidence in three vital goods: the nonpartisan nature of the intelligence community’s work, the generally robust framework for intelligence oversight, and the facts and conclusions of the intelligence community itself.