- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Justice Department on Tuesday says it’s willing to work with the House intelligence committee to make more information from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation available, but only if Chairman Adam Schiff backs down on his threat to take enforcement action against Attorney General William P. Barr.

“To be clear, should the committee take the precipitous and unnecessary action of recommending a contempt finding or other enforcement action against the attorney general, then the department will likely not be able to continue to work with the committee to accommodate its interest in these materials,” wrote Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd.

Mr. Schiff has issued a subpoena for the full, unredacted Mueller report along with the underlying evidence. Mr. Schiff also requested “a dozen narrow sets of documents” referenced in the report. Last week he threatened an unspecified “enforcement action” against the attorney general should he fail to comply.

The Justice Department countered with an offer to let all members of the committee see a less-redacted version of the report. That would include classified information, as well as information hidden from public view because of ongoing investigations or privacy interests. The less-redacted report still doesn’t include grand jury information, which Mr. Barr says under the law he’s not allowed to share.

Mr. Schiff called that offer “unacceptable,” according to Mr. Boyd’s letter.

In an effort to de-escalate tensions, Mr. Boyd said the Justice Department will review the 12 categories of documents demanded by Mr. Schiff and discuss making them available in “short order.” Mr. Boyd cautioned that the materials must first be reviewed by members of the intelligence community before the department can consider release.

“While the department will need a reasonable about of time to process and review these twelve categories of documents and to consult with other members of the intelligence community regarding our intent to share them with the committee, we believe that the department may be in position to discuss making them available to the committee in relatively short order,” he wrote.

Mr. Boyd also offered to prioritize the information identified by the committee as long as it refrains from pursuing the enforcement action against Mr. Barr.

Mr. Schiff’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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