By Samuel Chamberlain
Published May 07, 2019
The leaders of the House Intelligence Committee have threatened to issue a rare bipartisan subpoena that would compel the Justice Department to turn over Special Counsel Robert Mueller's complete and unredacted report on the Russia investigation, as well as allow Mueller himself to brief the committee about the probe.
Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and ranking member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., initially requested "all materials ... obtained or produced by the Special Counsel's Office in the course of the investigation" in a March 27 letter to Attorney General William Barr, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and FBI Director Christopher Wray. After receiving no response, Schiff and Nunes repeated their request in a second letter dated April 25, one week after Barr released a redacted version of the Mueller report to Congress and the public.
"[A]s the report makes clear, the Department of Justice and the FBI failed to keep the Committee 'fully and currently informed' of this important foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information, as required by law," Schiff and Nunes wrote in the April letter. "The Department and the Bureau did not keep the Committee apprised of this information ... contrary to long-standing practice regarding significant counterintelligence matters."
The second letter from Nunes and Schiff gave the Justice Department until May 2 to cooperate with their requests or "the Committee will have no choice but to resort to compulsory process on Friday, May 3 to compel production of documents responsive to the Committee's request."
A committee aide told Fox News on Tuesday that "the [Justice] Department has not produced any documents responsive to our requests and has not agreed to schedule any testimony," even after Schiff and Nunes sent their second letter.
"An accommodations process must go both ways, and the Committee will soon start the compulsory process since the Department has not even begun to comply," the aide said.
The letters mark a rare showing of bipartisan agreement between Schiff and Nunes, who have repeatedly been at loggerheads over the Russia investigation. On March 28, the committee's nine Republican members -- including Nunes -- requested that Schiff step down as chairman over his repeated claims in the media that there was "more than circumstantial evidence” of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Last week, Schiff called for Barr to resign as attorney general over his handling of the Mueller report, writing in a USA Today op-ed that Barr "misled the country about an investigation implicating the president.
"Then he lied to Congress," Schiff wrote in the piece published last Friday. "Then he did something worse: He effectively said that the president of the United States is above the law."