Friday, May 3, 2019

It's Mueller (Report) Time

Jerry Nadler and the House Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are finally playing hardball, giving Attorney General Bill Barr a Monday 9 AM deadline to turn over the unredacted Mueller report and evidence or face a contempt charge.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler on Friday sent his latest offerAttorney General William Barr to try to reach an agreement in his effort to obtain the unredacted special counsel report and the underlying evidence before Nadler moves forward with holding the attorney general in contempt of Congress.

Nadler sent Barr a new letter proposing that the committee could work with the Justice Department to prioritize which investigative materials it turns over to Congress, specifically citing witness interviews and the contemporaneous notes provided by witnesses that were cited in the special counsel Robert Mueller's report. Nadler wrote that he was "willing to prioritize a specific, defined set of underlying investigative and evidentiary materials for immediate production." 
But Nadler's letter does not budge on Democrats' insistence that the Justice Department allow Congress to view grand jury material that's redacted in the report, which Barr has argued he's not allowed by law to provide. 
Nadler set a deadline of 9 a.m. ET Monday for Barr to respond and said he would move to contempt proceedings if the attorney general does not comply
"The Committee is prepared to make every realistic effort to reach an accommodation with the Department," Nadler wrote in the letter, which was obtained by CNN. "But if the Department persists in its baseless refusal to comply with a validly issued subpoena, the Committee will move to contempt proceedings and seek further legal recourse." 

So the stage is set for Monday morning, and the result will most likely be an immediate court challenge to the contempt charge that will tie up the proceeding for months, if not years.

This will go nowhere, unfortunately.  And it will be forgotten by the end of next week, most likely.  Trump's minders will find a federal judge to issue an injunction on whatever executive privilege nonsense they can get some Federalist Society clerk to write, and this will get hung up in the courts until after the 2020 election when the Roberts court sides with Trump that cabinet secretaries are immune to contempt of Congress.

People forget that AG Eric Holder was cited for contempt of Congress by House Republicans in 2014 and the judge that tossed that contempt citation was none other than Amy Berman Jackson herself, the judge in the Stone and Manafort trials.

Meanwhile, Barr will continue to do whatever he wants, and the Mueller report will remain buried.

Democrats will need to come up with something better than a contempt citation, or the republic is lost.

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