President Donald Trump‘s attorney Rudy Giuliani, as many others have on Wednesday, reacted to the House Judiciary Committee voting to approve subpoenas of Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s Russia report in full. Giuliani, by merely retweeting what Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), appears to agree that the release of the full report would be “dangerous.”
“The House Judiciary committee’s demand that Attorney General Barr release the Mueller report — including grand jury testimony and classified information — is dangerous and ridiculous,” Graham tweeted on Wednesday morning.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said on Wednesday that he would wait to issue the subpoenas in an effort to give Attorney General William Barr a chance to “change his mind” on how to proceed. The Committee later voted along party lines, 24 Democrats to 17 Republicans, to approve the subpoena effort.
House Republicans, including some who voted 20 days prior to make the Mueller report public, echoed Graham’s thoughts. The idea that Congress can’t be trusted to not leak has also been floated.
Nadler has argued that Congress should be able to read the full report in unredacted form (including grand jury material) before it is released to the public, just as was done with with the Ken Starr/Bill Clinton report and the Richard Nixon report.
Barr, on the other hand, has already said that the report given to Congress will have redactions in these areas:
Specifically, we are well along in the process of identifying and redacting the following: 1) material subject to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e) [grand jury material] that by law cannot be made public; 2) material the intelligence community identifies as potentially compromising sensitive sources and methods; 3) material that could affect other ongoing matters, including those that the Special Counsel has referred to other Department offices; and (4) information that would unduly infringe on the personal privacy and repetitional interests of peripheral third parties.
Giuliani appears to agree that Congress having access to all of Mueller’s 400 pages (not counting “any accompanying exhibits, annexes, tables, appendices, other attachments and all evidence referenced in the report” and “underlying evidence”) is “dangerous,” which is worth noting in itself.
It also bears repeating that Trump and Giuliani have on numerous occasions used the word “executive privilege” and argued that they should get to review the Mueller report before it goes public to make privilege recommendations. Interestingly, Barr recently reminded Trump he has this right to assert privilege over “certain parts of the report,” but that there aren’t any plans to give the report to the White House to make privilege recommendations.
“Although the President would have the right to assert privilege over certain parts of the report, he has stated publicly that he intends to defer to me and, accordingly, there are no plans to submit the report to the White House for a privilege review,” Barr said. In short, Barr did not rule this out.
As Law&Crime noted before, a possible consequence of these subpoenas is Barr following in former Obama AG Eric Holder‘s footsteps in the Fast and Furious probe. Holder recommended that then-President Barack Obama assert executive privilege, resulting in a contempt citation for Holder.
Barr previously said that Mueller has no more indictments to hand down, that Mueller did not allege conspiracy between President Trump/Trump campaign and the Russian government, and that Mueller did not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice but didn’t allege it either. The special counsel has not pushed back on these “principal conclusions.”
[Image via Alex Wong/Getty Images]