A Top Democrat Just Threatened to Subpoena the Mueller Report “If Necessary”

“We will bring Bob Mueller to testify before Congress. We will take it to court, if necessary.”

Susan Walsh/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

On ABC’s This Week, House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said Sunday that if the results of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election aren’t released to the public, he and his colleagues will use subpoena power and pursue legal options to bring it to daylight.

“We will obviously subpoena the report. We will bring Bob Mueller to testify before Congress. We will take it to court, if necessary, and in the end I think the department understands they’re gonna have to make this public,” Schiff told host George Stephanopolous.

“I think [Attorney General William] Barr will ultimately understand that, as well…if he were to try to withhold—to try to bury any part of this report—that will be his legacy, and it will be a tarnished legacy. So I think there will be immense pressure not only on the department but on the attorney general to be forthcoming.”

Since the probe was launched in 2017, the prospect of a final, definitive “Mueller Report” has loomed over the American political scene like a storm cloud at a barbecue. But as Mother Jones‘ David Corn reported last month, there’s a real possibility that—unlike, say, the Starr Report—Mueller’s findings won’t be released at all:

The Justice Department guidelines governing the work of a special counsel do not compel Mueller to compile such a report. They only include one sentence about a report: “At the conclusion of the Special Counsel’s work, he or she shall provide the Attorney General with a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel.”

In other words, what gets released might be up to Barr. That’s why Schiff and his allies are mulling over their next steps—and hoping they won’t have to take them.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.