WASHINGTON — Democrats intensified their demands for Robert Mueller’s full report Thursday after learning the special counsel’s findings from his Trump-Russia investigation run to more than 300 pages.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler was told by Attorney General William Barr that there’s no intention of giving the confidential report to Congress immediately as he redacts grand jury testimony and other elements.
Democrats said they may subpoena the report if it’s not forthcoming by their Tuesday deadline, which Barr has said will not be met.
Through the day, tempers rose on Capitol Hill.
Shaking her fist for emphasis, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Barr’s summary, which cleared Trump of campaign collusion with Russia and criminal obstruction of Mueller’s federal probe, was “condescending” and “arrogant.”
“Mr. Attorney General,” she said, “show us the report and we’ll come to our own conclusions.”
Barr has said he’ll provide Congress with at least a partial version in April and told Nadler he would agree to testify before his committee.
As that battle brews, House Democrats barreled ahead with their own investigation of the Trump administration, and Trump resumed his attack on Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., just as the chairman of the intelligence committee was about to gavel his panel into session.
“Congressman Adam Schiff, who spent two years knowingly and unlawfully lying and leaking, should be forced to resign from Congress!” Trump tweeted early Thursday.
Republicans picking up on Trump’s complaints formalized their demand that Schiff resign as chairman of the intelligence panel over his comments that there was significant evidence the president and his associates conspired with Russia.
“We have no faith in your ability to discharge your responsibilities” in line with the Constitution, the Republicans wrote to Schiff in a missive they read aloud at the hearing.
Schiff stood by his remarks, listing the meetings that people in Trump’s circle had with Russians. He noted Trump’s pursuit of a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
“There is a different word for that than collusion, and it’s called compromise,” Schiff said.
Schiff this week has repeated his assertion that evidence of collusion is in “plain sight.” He said Mueller’s failure to find a criminal conspiracy with Russia does not absolve Trump.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said Wednesday he was disappointed Barr would take weeks, not days, to release the report.
“The president has now an opportunity for weeks, it sounds like, to do these victory laps,” said Cummings, noting that Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, is among those headed to jail as a result of the probe. “Cohen goes to jail, the president runs a victory lap.”
Barr told the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., that he’s combing through Mueller’s report and removing classified, grand jury and other information in hopes of releasing the rest to Congress.
Trump has said he’s fine with releasing the findings. “The president said, ‘Just let it go,’ and that’s what’s going to happen,” Graham said.