House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) issued a subpoena to Attorney General William Barr on May 8 requesting a copy of the full and unredacted report by special counsel Robert Mueller, as well as foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information collected by Mueller’s office over the course of the 22-month investigation.
In a letter (pdf) to Barr informing him of the subpoena, Schiff gives the attorney general until May 15 to turn over the requested documents. Schiff and the committee’s top Republican, Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), requested the documents on March 27. According to Schiff, the Justice Department hasn’t responded to the request.
“The Department’s failure to engage and negotiate with the committee, and its failure to comply in any meaningful way with the committee’s bipartisan document request, necessitates the issuance of the attached subpoena,” Schiff wrote.
Barr released a redacted version of the special counsel report last month. The report concluded there is no evidence to establish that Trump or anyone on his campaign colluded with Russia. Some of the redactions in the report legally cannot be lifted as they pertain to grand jury information, which is sealed under federal law. Barr also has offered lawmakers to view a minimally redacted version of the report, which only conceals the grand jury information.
In the letter, Schiff argues that the committee has the right to obtain classified information, including grand jury material, as long as the documents have to do with foreign intelligence or counterintelligence.
“The fact that the evidence and information may have been gathered during a criminal investigation, including through the grand jury process, and may be unclassified in no way diminishes its nature as foreign intelligence or counterintelligence information that must be provided to the committee,” Schiff wrote.
The Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Barr has already defied a subpoena for the full Mueller report from the House Judiciary Committee. Democrats on the committee voted on May 8 to recommend that the House of Representatives hold Barr in contempt for defying the subpoena.
The White House, responding to a request from Barr, asserted executive privilege over the Mueller report on May 8. Presidents can assert executive privilege to prevent the disclosure of internal executive branch deliberations. The Justice Department is part of the executive branch.
The House Intelligence Committee, then under Republican leadership, concluded in April 2018 that there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. During and after that investigation, Schiff continued to claim that the committee is in possession of evidence of collusion.
When the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives in January, Schiff became the chairman of the committee, gaining the power to release the evidence he spoke of. He hasn’t yet released any evidence.
In addition to finding no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, the intelligence committee lifted the veil on the FBI’s spying on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. The bureau used an unverified dossier, funded by Hillary Clinton, as the basis to obtain a warrant to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page.
Senior FBI and DOJ officials signed off on the spy warrant application, despite knowing of the political origins of the dossier. Former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele compiled the dossier using second- and third-hand sources with ties to the Kremlin.