In the surest sign yet that Democrats are concerned the final report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller won’t bring down the Trump presidency, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff has vowed to go to court if the report isn’t made public. He also said he would haul Mueller before congress for questioning if the report wasn’t released.
While appearing on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, Schiff said he was “absolutely” prepared to sue the Trump administration if Attorney General William Barr didn’t release the full report.
“We will obviously subpoena the report. We will bring Bob Mueller in to testify before Congress. We will take it to court if necessary,” the California Democrat said.
The New York Times reports that Mueller “must submit a confidential report outlining his investigation and decisions to the attorney general, William P. Barr, who will then submit a summary to Congress.”
Barr would then have discretion as to what details he includes in the summary, though he must accurately summarize Mueller’s conclusion. In the 1990s, independent counsel Ken Starr’s report on President Bill Clinton’s sexual exploits with Monica Lewinsky was considered “salacious,” the Times reported.
Given that the Mueller investigation is based on an uncorroborated document prepared by an ex-British spy alleging numerous salacious details about President Donald Trump, it seems likely that much of the final report on the investigation will need to be censored.
Here’s one possibility for how the investigation plays out. Mueller finds nothing actionable and provides a report to Barr. Barr then summarizes the report and delivers it to congress. Democrats, enraged that Trump isn’t going to jail and discovering that maybe, just maybe, the 2016 election was legitimate, demand the full report be released so that they can dig through it and spin whatever detail they want.
Schiff last month said he would continue to investigate a debunked detail of Mueller’s investigation, paving the way for the House Democrat to continue investigating Trump even if Mueller finds no wrongdoing. Democrats besides Schiff have also vowed to continue investigating Trump until they find something they can use to impeach him.
Prior to Schiff’s threat on Sunday, the House Intelligence Committee chairman criticized the allegedly limited scope of the special counsel’s investigation — in what appears to be a clear sign that Schiff doesn’t believe Mueller will find anything.
“If the special counsel hasn’t subpoenaed Deutsche Bank, he can’t be doing much of a money laundering investigation,” Schiff said two weeks ago. “So that’s what concerns me, that that red line has been enforced, whether by the deputy attorney general or by some other party at the Justice Department. But that leaves the country exposed.”
It has been rumored that Mueller is close to releasing his final report, though such rumors have persisted for months. The indictments he has made against Trump officials so far have been for process claims and crimes unrelated to any alleged collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election, which is the main focus of the special counsel’s investigation.