House committee chairs call for Mueller report to be released by April 2

Top House Democrats are pressing Attorney General William Barr to provide Congress with the full report and underlying evidence from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE's investigation, giving him a deadline of early next month to provide such information.

Six House committee chairmen and chairwomen in a letter on Monday said Barr's summary of Mueller's findings, which was delivered to lawmakers on Sunday, "leaves open many questions," calling on him to provide the report by next Tuesday.
ADVERTISEMENT

 
"We look forward to receiving the report in full no later than April 2, and to begin receiving the underlying evidence and documents that same day," the lawmakers wrote.
 
"Your four-page summary of the Special Counsel’s review is not sufficient for Congress, as a coequal branch of government, to perform this critical work. The release of the full report and the underlying evidence and documents is urgently needed by our committees to perform their duties under the Constitution," they continued.
 
Democrats, who control the House, have the power to subpoena, which they have signaled they will use in an attempt to obtain the report and underlying evidence from the 22-month long probe.
 
Reps. Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse hearing marks historic moment for slavery reparations debate Want the truth? Put your money on Bill Barr, not Jerry Nadler From abortion to obstruction, politicians' hypocrisy is showing MORE (D-N.Y.), Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsCummings requests interview with Census official over new allegations on citizenship question Cummings requests interview with Census official over new allegations on citizenship question Top Democrats question legal basis for appointing Cuccinelli as temporary immigration chief MORE (D-Md.), Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHillicon Valley: Senate sets hearing on Facebook's cryptocurrency plans | FTC reportedly investigating YouTube over children's privacy | GOP senator riles tech with bill targeting liability shield | FAA pushed to approve drone deliveries Hillicon Valley: Senate sets hearing on Facebook's cryptocurrency plans | FTC reportedly investigating YouTube over children's privacy | GOP senator riles tech with bill targeting liability shield | FAA pushed to approve drone deliveries Democratic rep warns artificial intelligence is being used to 'target vulnerable populations' MORE (D-Calif.), Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersFacebook's new cryptocurrency raises red flags for critics Facebook's new cryptocurrency raises red flags for critics Facebook's crypto experiment will languish on Capitol Hill MORE (D-Calif.), Richard NealRichard Edmund NealOn The Money: Fed opens door to rate cuts under pressure from Trump | Lawmakers, White House fail to reach budget deal | Democrats take aim at Trump policies with T spending bill | Senate sets hearing on Facebook's cryptocurrency On The Money: Fed opens door to rate cuts under pressure from Trump | Lawmakers, White House fail to reach budget deal | Democrats take aim at Trump policies with T spending bill | Senate sets hearing on Facebook's cryptocurrency Liberal group presses Democratic chairman to file lawsuit for Trump's tax returns quickly MORE (D-Mass.) and Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelEngel draws primary challenger in NY Engel draws primary challenger in NY Overnight Defense: Latest on House defense bill markup | Air Force One, low-yield nukes spark debate | House Dems introduce resolutions blocking Saudi arms sales | Trump to send 1,000 troops to Poland MORE (D-N.Y.) — the heads of the House Judiciary, Oversight and Reform, Intelligence, Financial Services, and Ways and Means committees, respectively — all signed the letter.

The letter marks an escalation in efforts by Democrats to gain access to additional details included in Mueller’s report, raising the possibility of a potential showdown between Democrats in Congress and the Justice Department.

In particular, Democrats have seized on Barr’s decision to conclude there was no obstruction of justice by President TrumpDonald John TrumpBooker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Booker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Trump says Democrats are handing out subpoenas 'like they're cookies' MORE in the Russia probe, claiming this interpretation is further reason for all of Mueller’s findings to be provided to Congress.

Barr told Congress that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinTrump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch Trump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch Trump: I didn't fire Mueller since firings 'didn't work out too well' for Nixon MORE determined that "the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed as obstruction-of-justice offense."

"The Special Counsel states that 'while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,'" Barr wrote in his letter to Congress.

Nevertheless, Barr’s summary of Mueller’s report was a forceful blow to Democrats who have capitalized on looming questions of whether there was a conspiracy between Trump and Russia during the election, and it hurt plans by those in the party who have raised the prospect of impeachment.

According to Barr’s summary, Mueller said he found no evidence of such collusion during the course of his investigation.

"The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election," stated Barr’s letter to the House and Senate Judiciary committees.

Barr, however, has not made any promises to release all of Mueller’s report. In his Sunday letter, he reiterated that he intends to publicly release as much of Mueller’s report as he can within the regulations governing Mueller’s appointment.

"My goal and intent is to release as much of the Special Counsel’s report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies," Barr wrote.

The president and his Republican allies seized on the report as vindication shortly after the summary was released.

“No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Updated 7:50 p.m.