Ninth District Congressman Doug Collins of Gainesville issued a letter Monday to the chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary in the U.S. House of Representatives, asking him to invite Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify before the committee.
Collins is a ranking member of the committee. He said in the letter to Jerrold Nadler that when the committee voted to authorize Nadler to issue a subpeona for the Special Counsel's report last Wednesday, and the Republican amendment exempting material covered under Federal Rule of Criminal Proceedure 6(e) was rejected by Democrats unanimously, that it would then force Attorney General William P. Barr to break the law to comply with the subpeona, "or label him as part of a cover-up if he does not."
The letter goes in to detail about a previous statement made last Wednesday regarding investigations into Presidents Nixon and Clinto that involved Congress getting 6(e) material, which Collins argued was inacurate to compare those instances with the current instance.
"To ignore the law and conflate prior situations with the current Special Counsel's report is irresponsible and imprudent. This behavior disrespects the law we are supposed to uphold and must stop," said Collins in the letter.
Collins went on to say that while Nadler may be unwilling to begin an impeachment hearing "when the facts do not support one, but the precedent for Congress receiving 6(e) material is clear, and such precedent does not support your current demands." Furthermore, Collins added the view was bolstered by a ruling last Friday in the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia, McKeever v. Barr, which said federal judges don't have inherent authority to disclose protected grand jury materials, except in specific and authorities exceptions.
In the end, Collins argued in his letter that Nadler was chosing a difficult and legally questionable path, saying that a formal impeachment inquiry under the judicial proceeding exception are grounds for transmitting 6(e) material to Congress.
"Your decision to make groundless claims and repeatedly threaten to go to court not only distracts from other Committee business but, based on firm legal precedent, will also end — after months, if not years, of litigation — without the Committee receiving the material you say it requires to complete its work. If you decline to launch an impeachment inquiry, which is your clear legal path to the 6(e) grand jury information, I suggest instead inviting Special Counsel Mueller in to testify before the Committee as soon as possible."
You can read the full text of the three page letter here.
Collins encouraged Nadler to invite Special Counsel Mueller to testify the week after Easter, which is the week of April 22, when the House is expected to be in recess. However, Collins said he believed his compatriots would agree the business was too important to wait, and would return to Washington.