Top House and Senate Democrats Decline Limited DOJ Offer to View Some Hidden Sections of Mueller Report
Apr 19 2019
Washington, D.C. – Today, top House and Senate Democrats sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr rejecting his limited offer to view a less-redacted version of Special Counsel Mueller’s report. The proposal would only allow twelve Members of Congress to view a less-redacted version of the report in person and would not permit them to discuss it with other Members of Congress who all have top security clearances.
In their letter, the Members wrote, “While the current proposal is not workable, we are open to discussing a reasonable accommodation with the Department that would protect law enforcement sensitive information while allowing Congress to fulfill its constitutional duties.”
The letter is signed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Senate Judiciary Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA).
A full copy of the letter can be found here and below.
April 19, 2019
The Honorable William P. Barr
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
Dear Attorney General Barr:
We write in response to your proposal regarding restricted access to a less redacted version of Special Counsel Mueller’s report. Unfortunately, your proposed accommodation—which among other things would prohibit discussion of the full report, even with other Committee Members—is not acceptable.
In order for Congress to fulfill its functions as intended by the Constitution, it must operate as a coequal and coordinate branch of government. Given the comprehensive factual findings presented by the Special Counsel’s Report, some of which will only be fully understood with access to the redacted material, we cannot agree to the conditions you are placing on our access to the full report. Nor can we agree to an arrangement that does not include a mechanism for ensuring access to grand jury material.
As the Special Counsel stated, “The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.” The Department now has a duty to submit the full report and underlying evidence to Congress so that it can fulfill its constitutional responsibilities. This includes considering whether legislation is needed in light of the findings contained in Special Counsel Mueller’s report and the Attorney General’s determination that no prosecution is warranted despite those facts.
While the current proposal is not workable, we are open to discussing a reasonable accommodation with the Department that would protect law enforcement sensitive information while allowing Congress to fulfill its constitutional duties.
U.S. House of Representatives
House Committee on the Judiciary
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
cc: Honorable Kevin McCarthy, Minority Leader, House of Representatives
Honorable Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader, Senate
Honorable Doug Collins, Ranking Member, House Committee on the Judiciary
Honorable Lindsey Graham, Chairman, Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Honorable Devin Nunes, Ranking Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Honorable Richard Burr, Chairman, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence