Witnesses called by Democrats admitted to the House Judiciary Committee that Attorney General William Barr was well within his rights, and the law, by withholding the complete, non-redacted Mueller report.
During a hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., asked the Democrats’ witnesses if Barr was required by law to hand over the entirety of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russian collusion hoax, or if he was protected by law.
MUST WATCH: The Democratic witnesses at the House Judiciary Committee hearing testified that the subpoena committee Democrats issued to AG Barr requires him to violate the law in order to comply. #MuellerReport pic.twitter.com/A9b1WKIe6Z
— Congressman Kelly Armstrong (@RepArmstrongND) May 15, 2019
Kate Shaw, a law professor at Yeshiva University, admitted the law “protects grand jury material,” and that she agreed he would have broke the law if he handed over the complete unreacted report.
Armstrong then asked Paul Rosenzweig, a senior fellow at R Street Institute’s National Security & Cybersecurity team, who agreed Barr was within his rights, but added that “nothing in the statute prevents him from asking permission from a court to provide that material.”
However, Rosenzweig admitted that a congressional subpoena does not require Barr to go to a court to obtain that kind of permission.
Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have moved to hold Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing to produce the full, unredacted report from Mueller.
“The Attorney General’s failure to comply with our subpoena, after extensive accommodation efforts, leaves us no choice but to initiate contempt proceedings in order to enforce the subpoena and access the full, unredacted report,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, said in a statement Monday.
But as the Democratic witnesses stated, Barr violated no law and had every right to refuse Congress’s subpoena.
Barr has tried to work with the Democrats, inviting committee staff to the Justice Department “to discuss a mutually acceptable accommodation” that provides lawmakers with the greatest access to the Muller report.
Democrats, however, said this isn’t enough.
“Since first communicating its need to obtain this information, the Committee has acknowledged the Attorney General’s legal and policy concerns regarding release of these materials and has sought to negotiate an accommodation acceptable to both the Attorney General and the Committee,” the committee wrote in its report. “Nevertheless, Attorney General Barr failed to comply with the Committee’s request for these documents and thereby has hindered the Committee’s constitutional, oversight, and legislative functions.”