- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to give Chairman Jerrold Nadler the power to subpoena special counsel Robert Mueller’s full final report and all of his investigative materials, as well as to slap subpoenas on five former Trump associates.

The 24-17 vote does not issue the subpoenas, but it gives Mr. Nadler, the New York Democrat who would oversee any impeachment effort, the ability to issue them.

Republicans said they figured he would send the one to Mr. Mueller by the end of the day.

“We need these materials to fulfill our constitutional obligation,” Mr. Nadler said, saying Congress got the same kinds of secret proceedings, such as grand jury and classified materials during previous impeachment-style probes into President Richard M. Nixon in the 1970s and President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

Republicans, though, said the threat of a subpoena was premature.

Attorney General William P. Barr says he is already planning to release much of the report publicly, and Republicans said the materials he isn’t releasing is protected by law.

They said if Mr. Nadler wants to see that, he’s going to have to go through a long legal battle in the courts asking them to unseal grand jury information.

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, one of the Republican impeachment managers against Mr. Clinton in the 1990s, said he would join Mr. Nadler in making that request to the courts, but said approving the subpoena now made no sense.

“Go to court and let the judge make the decision,” he said.

Mr. Nadler, though, said he wanted to have the subpoena in hand first and then go to court if necessary.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, the GOP chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called Mr. Nadler’s move “dangerous and ridiculous.”

Mr. Nadler was actually on the other side of the debate in the 1990s, arguing that the Clinton probe information should not be provided to Congress. He lost then, and now says that precedent holds today for the Mueller probe into President Trump.

“Our chief constitutional obligation is to hold the president accountable, especially in an instance where the Department of Justice says it cannot hold the president accountable,” he said. “Those judgments must be made by Congress, not by a political appointee, the attorney general.”

While most of the focus Wednesday was on the Mueller subpoena, the resolution the committee approved also authorized Mr. Nadler to subpoena five former White House figures: former counsel Donald McGahn, former strategist Stephen Bannon, former spokeswoman Hope Hicks, former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and Ann Donaldson, who was chief of staff to Mr. McGahn.

They were all part of Mr. Nadler’s document blast last month, in which he sent a demand to 81 figures from Mr. Trump’s orbit demanding information that may shed light on the 2016 campaign, Russian interference or presidential obstruction of justice.

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