mcloudyn.png
Sunday July 21st, 2019 1:03AM

Case opened: Democrats begin public airing of Mueller report

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says it's "case closed ." But Democrats are just getting started with Robert Mueller .

House Democrats have scheduled a series of hearings this coming week on the special counsel's report as they intensify their focus on the Russia probe and pick up the pace on an investigative "path" — in the words of Speaker Nancy Pelosi — that some of them hope leads to impeachment of the president.

In doing so, they are trying to draw the public's attention on the allegations that Trump sought to obstruct a federal investigation and they want to highlight his campaign's contacts with Russia in the 2016 election.

And they will lay the groundwork for an appearance from Mueller himself, despite his stated desire to avoid the spotlight .

The hearings will focus on the two main topics of Mueller's report, obstruction of justice and Russian election interference.

The House Judiciary Committee plans to cover the first topic at a Monday hearing on "presidential obstruction and other crimes." The House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday intends to review the counterintelligence implications of the Russian meddling. Mueller said there was not enough evidence to establish a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, but he said he could not exonerate Trump on obstruction.

On Tuesday, the House has scheduled a vote to authorize contempt cases against Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Donald McGahn for failing to comply with subpoenas from the Democratic-controlled House.

Barr defied a subpoena to provide an unredacted version of Mueller's report, along with underlying evidence. McGahn, who is frequently referenced in the report, has defied subpoenas to provide documents and testify before the House Judiciary Committee.

Language in the resolution would make it easier for committee chairmen to take the Trump administration to court. Those chairmen could take legal action to enforce subpoenas in the future without a vote of the full House, so long as the chairmen have approval from a five-person, bipartisan group where Democrats have the majority.

With Trump pledging that "we're fighting all the subpoenas," Democratic leaders want to avoid repeated floor votes on contempt resolutions that detract from their legislative agenda.

The procession of hearings and votes in the week ahead is partly designed to mollify anxious Democrats who have pushed Pelosi, D-Calif., to begin impeachment proceedings immediately . Pelosi has so far rejected that option , preferring a slower, more methodical approach to investigating the president, including the court fights and hearings.

During a meeting with the House Judiciary Committee chairman, New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, and other committee heads last week, Pelosi made the case that she would rather see Trump voted out of office and "in prison" than merely impeached, according to a report in Politico. A person familiar with the exchange confirmed the account to The Associated Press.

The latest approach appears to have temporarily satisfied the restless House Democrats.

Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, who pleaded with Pelosi last month to start an inquiry, said the votes and hearings are going to be enough, for now, as they wait to see what happens in court.

"I am very satisfied that things are moving in the right direction," Raskin said. "And I think the American people are getting increasingly educated and engaged about the lawlessness of the president."

Rep. David Cicilline, a Judiciary Committee member who favors an impeachment inquiry, took pains to avoid separating himself from top Democrats such as Pelosi.

"We should never proceed with impeachment for political reasons. We should never refuse to proceed with impeachment for political reasons," Cicilline, D-R.I., said on "Fox News Sunday."

Educating the American public on what is in the Mueller report is a priority for Democrats, who believe Trump and his allies have created the public impression that the report said there was no obstruction of justice. Trump has made that assertion repeatedly, echoing Barr's judgment that there was not enough evidence in the report to support a criminal obstruction charge. Mueller said in the report that he could not exonerate Trump on that point.

The special counsel did not find evidence to establish a criminal conspiracy between Trump's campaign and Russia. But the report details multiple contacts between the two.

California Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the goal of the Wednesday hearing will be to explain to the American people "the serious counterintelligence concerns raised by the Mueller report, examine the depth and breadth of the unethical and unpatriotic conduct it describes, and produce prescriptive remedies to ensure that this never happens again."

Republicans are poised to defend the president at the hearings and challenge Democrats on the decision not to open impeachment hearings.

Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, sent Nadler a letter Friday calling the upcoming hearing a "mock impeachment hearing" and warning Democrats to be civil when speaking of the president.

Collins said in the letter that outside of impeachment proceedings, "it is out of order for a member of Congress, in debate, to engage in personalities with the president or express an opinion, even a third party opinion, accusing the president of a crime. The rules are clear on this point."

  • Associated Categories: Local/State News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News
  • Associated Tags: Washington, trump
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Case opened: Democrats begin public airing of Mueller report
President Donald Trump says it's "case closed," but Democrats are just getting started with Robert Mueller.
8:18AM ( 3 minutes ago )
A musical set in hell is the show to beat at Tony Awards
The big question at this year's Tony Awards is whether hell can triumph
8:12AM ( 9 minutes ago )
The Latest: Lights to be used at next year's French Open
The latest on the French Open: Lights will be installed on the four top show courts for next year's French Open
7:38AM ( 44 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Huge extradition law protest fills Hong Kong streets
A sea of protesters is marching through central Hong Kong in a major demonstration against government-sponsored legislation that would allow people to be extradited to mainland China to face charges
6:23AM ( 1 hour ago )
US-Mexico deal offers few new solutions, political victory
Trump's deal to avert his threatened tariffs on Mexico gives him a political win, even if it includes few new solutions to swiftly stem the migrant surge
6:21AM ( 2 hours ago )
Trump's Mexico deal: a political win, even if it falls short
Trump's deal to avert his threatened tariffs on Mexico gives him a political win, even if it includes few new solutions to swiftly stem the migrant surge
10:50PM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: Lights to be used at next year's French Open
The latest on the French Open: Lights will be installed on the four top show courts for next year's French Open
7:38AM ( 44 minutes ago )
G-20 finance officials pledge to protect global growth
Finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the Group of 20 major economies have wrapped up a meeting in Japan with a pledge to use all the policies they can to protect global growth
7:32AM ( 49 minutes ago )
Kamala Harris says prosecutor past will help defeat Trump
Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris says her experience as a prosecutor has given her insight into trying to improve the criminal justice system and distinguishes her among the crowded field taking on President Donald Trump
7:29AM ( 53 minutes ago )
France's Le Maire hopes to fortify Renault-Nissan alliance
France's finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, says the priority of the French government as a shareholder in automaker Renault SA is to fortify its alliance with Nissan
7:24AM ( 57 minutes ago )
Sudan's protesters launch general strike after crackdown
Shops are closed and streets are empty across Sudan on the first day of a general strike called for by protest leaders demanding the resignation of the ruling military council
7:21AM ( 1 hour ago )