The Speaker of the House just laid down a serious demand to the Justice Department concerning the release Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report that the Attorney General cannot afford to ignore.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told the House Democratic conference yesterday that she would refuse to accept a redacted, “confidential” briefing about the Mueller Report, and is going to insist on a full release of its findings and materials.
Top House Democrats believe that the Clinton investigation precedent means that Attorney General William Barr must release Mueller’s report to Congress.
A senior member of Pelosi’s political team told the Washington Press that she believes Barr wants to keep the report secret or engage in selective disclosures to shield President Trump from Mueller’s most damaging findings. Politico reports:
Three sources who participated in a conference call among House Democrats said Pelosi (D-Calif.) told lawmakers she worried the Justice Department would seek to disclose Mueller’s conclusions to the so-called Gang of Eight — the top Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate — which handles the nation’s most sensitive secrets.
During the conference call, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) both cited the Clinton precedent as evidence to support their calls for complete transparency.
“Things kind of unfolded very, very quickly yesterday. The primary reason for the call was just to rally the troops,” Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), a member of the Judiciary and Intelligence committees, said in an interview Saturday. “While the special counsel’s work appears to be done, our work is not.”
Not only is the Clinton precedent relevant, but the House Intel Committee has already made an important model for the transparency decisions to come.
Its former Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) demanded that the White House approve the release of a memo filled with top-secret information.
Later, Nunes demanded that the president authorize disclose a set of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against comical Trump campaign advisor Carter Page last year.
He was successful in both cases.
The senior member of Speaker Pelosi’s political team wanted to make it clear that she wants everyone to know they are fighting to ensure the Administration moves to do what the American public – and both sides of the House – want, to release the report.
Indeed, the House of Representatives voted to pass a resolution that Mueller’s report should be made public by a count of 420-0 just ten days ago.
Special Counsel Mueller’s report is complete, but CNN notes that the investigations he began are not done yet.
There are still two known grand jury disputes that are ongoing, a Roger Stone associate – who by the way is going to trial in November on Mueller’s seven-count indictment – and a foreign entity subpoena, which is on final appeal to the Supreme Court.
President Trump’s former National Security Advisor is still cooperating in a case that is going to trial against a former Trump transition official and awaiting sentencing. His former deputy campaign chairman is still cooperating in multiple investigations and awaiting sentencing.
However, it is House Democrats who appear to be leading the way forward in the wake of Mueller’s historic report being completed, and their number one concern is obtaining total transparency about the shady practices that the Trump Campaign engaged in during 2016’s presidential election.