- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 24, 2019

A top Democrat said Sunday he plans to haul Attorney General William P. Barr before Congress as his party looks to wring every detail of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe out of the Justice Department.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, New York Democrat and House Judiciary Committee chairman, announced on Twitter he will call the attorney general to testify “in the near future,” citing Congress‘ oversight duties and what he called “discrepancies” in the decisions that led to largely vindicating the president.

Mr. Barr delivered a summary of Mr. Mueller’s findings to Congress on Sunday that found no collusion between President Trump’s team and Russian meddlers in the 2016 campaign.

Mr. Mueller did not recommend prosecution for obstruction of justice, but left the decision up to Mr. Barr, who said he doesn’t see enough evidence of a crime to pursue charges.

Mr. Nadler highlighted that last part, signaling it will be a key line of inquiry for his committee.

“We must hear from AG Barr about his decision making and see all the underlying evidence for the American people to know all the facts,” he tweeted.

Democrats say they have no choice but to demand more information, citing the Justice Department policy that says a sitting president cannot be indicted. That means it’s up to Congress to conduct additional oversight and decide whether any punishment is warranted, they argued.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said he understands that sources and methods must be protected. But beyond that, he wants all of Mr. Mueller’s materials.

“We don’t want to see simply crib notes, we don’t want to see an outline, we don’t want to see an executive summary,” he told CBS’s “Face the Nation” program before Sunday afternoon’s release of the Barr letter. “We need to see everything, so that the American people can draw conclusions on their own.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat, said the five-page summary from Mr. Barr didn’t reveal much about the special counsel’s thinking.

“The American people deserve the Mueller report, not just the Barr report. Indeed, this set of summary conclusions hardly constitutes a report,” he said.

Likewise, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Mr. Barr is “not a neutral observer and is not in a position to make objective determinations about the report.”

Republicans, meanwhile, said it’s time to move on.

The report vindicated Mr. Trump on the core question — collusion with foreigners to affect a U.S. election — so Democrats should focus on bipartisan policy-making, GOP lawmakers and party operatives said.

“Now that this investigation is over, Democrats need to finally end their baseless investigations and political crusade against President Trump for the good of the country,” said Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was more measured, saying the report highlighted the lack of collusion but adding himself that Russia remains a threat, so Congress needs to learn what it can.

“I appreciate the attorney general’s commitment to continue to review the record in this matter over the coming days, in conjunction with special counsel Mueller, with the goal of producing as much information as possible, consistent with the law,” Mr. McConnell said. “I look forward to reviewing that information.”

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