Justice Department agrees to turn over key Mueller evidence to House panel

Credit: Richard Drew

Credit: Richard Drew

The Justice Department on Monday reached an agreement with a House panel seeking documents gathered as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., announced in a statement that an agreement had been reached “over obtaining key evidence in the Mueller Report related to possible obstruction of justice by President (Donald) Trump.”

Nadler said the Justice Department was expected Monday to provide the committee with some of Mueller’s “most important files,” “providing us with key evidence that the special counsel used to assess whether the president and others obstructed justice or were engaged in misconduct.”

“All members of the Judiciary Committee — Democrats and Republicans alike — will be able to view them,” Nadler said. “These documents will allow us to perform our constitutional duties and decide how to respond to the allegations laid out against the president by the special counsel.”

The Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee voted last month along party lines in favor of holding U.S. Attorney General William Barr in contempt after he declined to release Mueller’s full, unredacted 448-page report to the committee, despite a congressional subpoena.

Nadler said Monday that contempt proceedings would be paused in light of the Justice Department’s cooperation.

Republicans have sharply criticized Democrats as they have battled Trump's administration over the Mueller report, subpoenaed multiple administration witnesses and made efforts to gain access to Trump's personal and business financial records. Trump has said he will fight "all the subpoenas."

Barr released a redacted version of Mueller’s report at the end of the special counsel’s 22-month investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to Trump and his campaign officials. In the report, Mueller said his team found no evidence of collusion, but he declined to make a decision on whether there was enough evidence to charge Trump with obstruction of justice.

Barr later declined to prosecute Trump.

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