House judiciary votes to subpoena 12 linked to Russian Federation probe

Clay Curtis
July 12, 2019

Democratic members did not speak about missing the chance to ask questions of Mueller during their comments at a Thursday markup, instead sticking to the topic of a resolution to authorize subpoenas related to the committee's probes into the Trump administration.

The subpoena targets include Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law; Jeff Sessions, the former attorney general; Rod Rosenstein, the former deputy attorney general who appointed Mueller as the special counsel; Michael Flynn, the president's first national security adviser; John Kelly, the former White House chief of staff; and Corey Lewandowski, Trump's former campaign manager.

The committee also voted to authorize subpoenas for documents and testimony related to the Trump administration's immigration policies.

"If we were not talking about a sitting president under the same circumstances, same evidence, would he have charged the person?" the Florida Democrat said.

Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, dismissed the subpoenas as "politics at its most desperate".

Trump ripped the Judiciary Committee's move early Thursday on Twitter, erroneously stating that Mueller concluded there was "no collusion, no obstruction". "I mean, the hearing goes until everybody's had an opportunity to ask a question".

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"We will not rest until we obtain their testimony and documents", Nadler said. The panels are conducting their own probes into the Kremlin's interference in the 2016 presidential election, as well as possible obstruction of justice and potential other abuses by President Donald Trump and his associates. He has said he has nothing more to add beyond his report, and resisted testifying, forcing the committee chairmen into issuing subpoenas.

"I have been elected just like anyone else here", she said, speculating that she'd be one of the members cut out.

"It seems to me the only reason for doing that is to create some kind of public spectacle, and if Bob decides he doesn't want to be subject to that, then the Department of Justice would certainly back him", Barr said.

Mr. Mueller has been subpoenaed to appear before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees next week, in the must-see political event of the summer.

Ultimately, congressional sources said, Democratic leaders had to make a decision given that talks were dragging for months with Mueller, who didn't want to testify. Democrats had a choice: Should they push for unlimited testimony with the risk that Mueller would continue to refuse to appear and potentially defy a subpoena?

The department has asked Aaron Zebley, Mueller's former chief of staff and among his closest associates during the almost two-year Russian Federation investigation, and James Quarles, one of the investigation's most senior attorneys and a former Watergate prosecutor, not to appear before the House Judiciary and intelligence committees. "Many questions remain and it is past time for a full accounting of this policy and practice", Nadler said.

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