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                                                         House Calendar No. 26

116th Congress   }                                            {   Report
                          HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                 
1st Session      }                                            {   116-105
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                                  

RESOLUTION RECOMMENDING THAT THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FIND WILLIAM 
 P. BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, IN CONTEMPT OF 
   CONGRESS FOR REFUSAL TO COMPLY WITH A SUBPOENA DULY ISSUED BY THE 
                       COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY


                               __________


                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                       COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS
                            
                            




June 6, 2019.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed


                             _________ 
                                  
                U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE
89-006                   WASHINGTON : 2019  
 




                                                  House Calendar No. 26
                                                  
                                                  
116th Congress  }                                              {   Report
                         HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session    }                                              {  116-105

======================================================================

 
RESOLUTION RECOMMENDING THAT THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FIND WILLIAM 
 P. BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, IN CONTEMPT OF 
   CONGRESS FOR REFUSAL TO COMPLY WITH A SUBPOENA DULY ISSUED BY THE 
                       COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

                                _______
                                

June 6, 2019.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Nadler, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    The Committee on the Judiciary, having considered this 
Report, report favorably thereon and recommend that the Report 
be approved.
    The form of Resolution that the Committee on the Judiciary 
would recommend to the House of Representatives for citing 
William P. Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, 
for contempt of Congress pursuant to this Report is as follows:
    Resolved, That William P. Barr, Attorney General of the 
United States, shall be found to be in contempt of Congress for 
failure to comply with a congressional subpoena.
    Resolved, That pursuant to 2 U.S.C. Sec. Sec. 192 and 194, 
the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall certify the 
report of the Committee on the Judiciary, detailing the refusal 
of William P. Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Department of 
Justice, to produce documents to the Committee on the Judiciary 
as directed by subpoena, to the United States Attorney for the 
District of Columbia, to the end that Mr. Barr be proceeded 
against in the manner and form provided by law.
    Resolved, That the Speaker of the House shall otherwise 
take all appropriate action to enforce the subpoena.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     4
Hearings.........................................................    16
Committee Consideration..........................................    17
Committee Votes..................................................    17
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................    23
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures and Congressional 
  Budget Office Cost Estimate....................................    23
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................    23
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................    23
Advisory on Earmarks.............................................    23
Rule of Construction.............................................    23
Dissenting Views.................................................    24

                          Purpose and Summary

    The Committee on the Judiciary (``the Committee'') is 
currently engaged in an investigation into alleged obstruction 
of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by 
President Donald Trump, his associates, and members of his 
Administration. Relatedly, the Committee is considering what 
legislative, oversight, or constitutional responses may be 
appropriate in response to any possible misconduct uncovered. 
For these purposes, the Committee has sought to obtain from 
Attorney General William Barr and the Department of Justice 
(``DOJ'' or ``Department'') a complete and unredacted copy, 
including exhibits and attachments, of the ``Report On The 
Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 
Presidential Election'' (``Mueller Report'') submitted to the 
Attorney General pursuant to 28 C.F.R. Sec. 600.8(c) by Special 
Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III, as well as access to the 
underlying and supporting evidence and investigatory materials 
cited in the Mueller Report, and to other materials collected 
and produced by the Special Counsel's office.
    Since first communicating its need to obtain this 
information, the Committee has acknowledged the Attorney 
General's legal and policy concerns regarding release of these 
materials and has sought to negotiate an accommodation 
acceptable to both the Attorney General and the Committee. 
Nevertheless, Attorney General Barr failed to comply with the 
Committee's request for these documents and thereby has 
hindered the Committee's constitutional, oversight, and 
legislative functions. Following Attorney General Barr's 
decision to provide only a redacted version of the Mueller 
Report to Congress--despite numerous entreaties to work toward 
a mutually acceptable accommodation--the Committee issued a 
subpoena on April 19, 2019 directing the Attorney General to 
produce an unredacted copy of the Mueller Report as well as the 
underlying materials by May 1, 2019. Attorney General Barr 
failed to comply with the Committee's subpoena.
    The redacted Mueller Report contains numerous findings, 
including: (1) the Russian government attacked the 2016 U.S. 
presidential election in ``sweeping and systematic fashion''\1\ 
through a social media campaign, and releasing hacked 
documents;\2\ (2) Russian intelligence services intentionally 
focused on state and local databases of registered voters, and 
state and local websites affiliated with voter registration; 
for example, ``[t]he GRU compromised the computer network of 
the Illinois State Board of Elections . . . then gained access 
to a database containing information on millions of registered 
Illinois voters, and extracted data related to thousands of 
U.S. voters before the malicious activity was identified'';\3\ 
(3) there were numerous links between the Russian government 
and the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump (``Trump 
Campaign'' or ``Campaign''), which ``consisted of business 
connections, offers of assistance to the Campaign, invitations 
for candidate Trump and Putin to meet in person, invitations 
for Campaign officials and representatives of the Russian 
government to meet, and policy positions seeking improved U.S.-
Russian relations'';\4\ (4) evidence of repeated attempts to 
obstruct justice by the President, including ``multiple acts by 
the President that were capable of exerting undue influence 
over law enforcement investigations, including the Russian-
interference and obstruction investigations,''\5\ which were 
``often carried out through one-on-one meetings in which the 
President sought to use his official power outside of usual 
channels'';\6\ (5) substantial evidence that President Trump's 
attempts to remove the Special Counsel were linked to 
investigations that involved the President's conduct and that 
once the President ``became aware that his own conduct was 
being investigated in an obstruction-of-justice inquiry, he 
engaged in a second phase of conduct, involving public attacks 
on the investigation, non-public efforts to control it, and 
efforts in both public and private to encourage witnesses not 
to cooperate with the investigation'';\7\ and (6) multiple 
instances where the President sought to prevent his associates 
from cooperating with investigations, including ``substantial 
evidence . . . that in repeatedly urging [White House Counsel 
Donald F.] McGahn to dispute that he was ordered to have the 
Special Counsel terminated, the President acted for the purpose 
of influencing McGahn's account in order to deflect or prevent 
further scrutiny of the President's conduct towards the 
investigation.''\8\
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    \1\Robert S. Mueller, III, Report On The Investigation Into Russian 
Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election (Mar. 2019), Vol. I, at 
1 (hereinafter ``Mueller Report'').
    \2\Id. Vol. I, at 4.
    \3\Id. Vol. I, at 50.
    \4\Id. Vol. I, at 5.
    \5\Id. Vol. II, at 157.
    \6\Id.
    \7\Id. Vol. II, at 7.
    \8\Id. Vol. II, at 120.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The redacted version of the Mueller Report presents grave 
concerns about the susceptibility of the nation's democratic 
institutions to foreign disinformation campaigns and the 
vulnerability of our election infrastructure. It also 
demonstrates a compelling need to strengthen laws to improve 
election security. The redacted Mueller Report, however, does 
not provide sufficient details for the Committee to perform its 
own constitutional duty and engage in a thorough independent 
investigation based on the Mueller Report's findings. It is 
imperative that the Committee have access to all of the facts 
contained in the full Mueller Report, to the evidentiary and 
investigatory materials cited in the Mueller Report, and to 
other materials produced and collected by the Special Counsel's 
office. Access to these materials is essential to the 
Committee's ability to effectively investigate possible 
misconduct, and consider appropriate legislative, oversight, or 
other constitutionally warranted responses. Attorney General 
Barr's refusal to comply with the Committee's subpoena or to 
engage in a meaningful accommodations process therefore 
continues to thwart the Committee's ability to fulfill its 
responsibilities.

                Background and Need for the Legislation


                             I. Background


   A. ORIGINS OF THE SPECIAL COUNSEL'S INVESTIGATION AND THE MUELLER 
                                 REPORT

    On January 6, 2017, the Office of the Director of National 
Intelligence released an intelligence assessment on ``Assessing 
Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. 
Elections.''\9\ The assessment concluded that ``Russian 
President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 
aimed at the U.S. presidential election,'' and that the goals 
of this campaign were, inter alia, ``to undermine public faith 
in the U.S. Democratic process.''\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. 
Elections, Report of the Office of the Director of National 
Intelligence (Jan. 6, 2019).
    \10\Id. at ii.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On March 2, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused 
himself from any possible DOJ investigations related to the 
2016 presidential campaign, given Mr. Sessions's own 
involvement with the Trump Campaign and his failure to disclose 
during his confirmation hearing his contacts with Russian 
Ambassador Sergey Kislyak while serving in his capacity as the 
Trump Campaign's National Security Committee Chairman.\11\ 
Later that month, at a hearing before the House Permanent 
Select Committee on Intelligence, Director of the Federal 
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) James Comey testified that he was 
authorized by DOJ to confirm that the FBI was currently 
investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, as 
well as whether there was any coordination between individuals 
associated with the Trump Campaign and the Russian 
government.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\Karoun Demirjian, Ed O'Keefe, Sari Horwitz, & Matt Zapotosky, 
Attorney General Jeff Sessions will recuse himself from any probe 
related to 2016 presidential campaign, Wash. Post, Mar. 2, 2017.
    \12\Matthew Rosenberg, Emmarie Huetteman & Michael S. Schmidt, 
Comey Confirms F.B.I. Inquiry on Russia; Sees No Evidence of 
Wiretapping, N.Y. Times, Mar. 20, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On May 9, 2017, President Trump fired Director Comey and 
subsequently provided conflicting explanations for Mr. Comey's 
dismissal.\13\ On May 17, 2017, Acting Attorney General Rod 
Rosenstein, pursuant to DOJ regulations,\14\ appointed former 
FBI Director Robert Mueller to serve as Special Counsel.\15\ 
Mr. Rosenstein's order stated that the purpose of Special 
Counsel Mueller's appointment was ``to ensure a full and 
thorough investigation of the Russian government's efforts to 
interfere in the 2016 presidential election,'' as well as to 
investigate ``any links and/or coordination between the Russian 
government and individuals associated with the campaign of 
President Donald Trump.'' Special Counsel Mueller's 
jurisdiction also included authority to investigate ``any 
matters that arose or may arise directly from the 
investigation,'' and ``any other matters within the scope of 28 
C.F.R. Sec. 600.4(a).'' Section 600.4(a) of the Code of Federal 
Regulations reads in relevant part that ``[t]he jurisdiction of 
a Special Counsel shall also include the authority to 
investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed in the 
course of, and with intent to interfere with, the Special 
Counsel's investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of 
justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of 
witnesses.'' The Special Counsel's investigation resulted in 
the indictment of 34 individuals and three companies, seven 
guilty pleas, and one conviction following a jury trial.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\Michelle Ye Hee Lee, All of the White House's conflicting 
explanations for Comey's firing: A timeline, Wash. Post, May 12, 2017.
    \14\28 C.F.R. Sec. 600 et. seq. (2019).
    \15\Office of the Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of Justice, 
Order No. 3915-2017 (2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    According to DOJ regulations, upon the conclusion of the 
Special Counsel's investigation, ``he or she shall provide the 
Attorney General with a confidential report explaining the 
prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special 
Counsel.''\16\ The Attorney General, in turn, is required to 
notify the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House and Senate 
Judiciary Committees when the Special Counsel concludes an 
investigation.\17\ On March 22, 2019, Attorney General Barr 
notified the Committee that he had received the Report from 
Special Counsel Mueller.\18\ On March 24, 2019, Attorney 
General Barr provided the Committee his summary of principal 
conclusions of the Mueller Report.\19\ On April 18, 2019, 
nearly four weeks after Special Counsel Mueller submitted his 
confidential Report, the Attorney General released a redacted 
copy of the Report to Congress and the public.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\28 C.F.R. Sec. Sec. 600.8(c) (2019).
    \17\28 C.F.R. Sec. 600.9(a)(3) (2019).
    \18\Letter to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary; Hon. Lindsey Graham, Chairman, S. Comm. on the Judiciary; 
Hon. Doug Collins, Ranking Member, H. Comm. on the Judiciary; Hon. 
Dianne Feinstein, Ranking Member, S. Comm. on the Judiciary, from 
William Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of Justice (Mar. 22, 2019) 
(hereinafter ``Notification Letter'').
    \19\Letter to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary; Hon. Lindsey Graham, Chairman, S. Comm. on the Judiciary; 
Hon. Doug Collins, Ranking Member, H. Comm. on the Judiciary; Hon. 
Dianne Feinstein, Ranking Member, S. Comm. on the Judiciary, from 
William Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of Justice (Mar. 24, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 B. REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE REGARDING 
THE MUELLER REPORT AND SUBPOENA ISSUED TO ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR

    In February 2019, well before Attorney General Barr 
received the Mueller Report, the Committee commenced the 
process of informing DOJ that it sought an unredacted copy of 
the Mueller Report once it was completed as well as access to 
the underlying materials. As described below, the Committee has 
from that time to the present also expressed its willingness to 
consider the Department's legal and policy concerns related to 
the release of such materials and offered to negotiate mutually 
acceptable solutions.
    On February 22, 2019, Chairman Jerrold Nadler along with 
five other committee chairs wrote a letter to Attorney General 
Barr indicating their expectation that DOJ would disclose the 
Mueller Report to the public ``to the maximum extent permitted 
by law,'' and requesting that ``to the extent that the 
Department believes that certain aspects of the report are not 
suitable for immediate public release,'' the Department provide 
that information to Congress ``along with your reasoning for 
withholding the information from the public.''\20\ The letter 
further stated the expectation that DOJ would provide ``to our 
Committees, upon request and consistent with applicable law, 
other information and material obtained or produced by the 
Special Counsel.''\21\ Thereafter, the full House of 
Representatives unanimously endorsed this view.\22\ On March 
14, 2019, the House voted 420 to 0 in favor of a resolution 
calling for ``the public release of any report . . . except to 
the extent the public disclosure of any portion thereof is 
expressly prohibited by law'' and for ``the full release to 
Congress of any report, including findings, Special Counsel 
Mueller provides to the Attorney General.''\23\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \20\Letter to Hon. William Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of 
Justice, from Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary; 
Hon. Adam Schiff, Chairman, H. Permanent Select Comm. on Intelligence; 
Hon. Elijah Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight and Reform; Hon. 
Eliot Engel, Chairman, H. Comm. on Foreign Affairs; Hon. Maxine Waters, 
Chairwoman, H. Comm. on Financial Services & Hon. Richard Neal, 
Chairman, H. Comm. on Ways and Means (Feb. 22, 2019).
    \21\Id.
    \22\165 Cong. Rec. H2731-32 (daily ed. Mar. 14, 2019).
    \23\H.Con.Res.24, Expressing the Sense of Congress that the Report 
of Special Counsel Mueller Should Be Made Available to the Public and 
to Congress, 116th Cong. (2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In spite of these reasonable requests from the House and 
the Committee to receive the unredacted Mueller Report and the 
underlying materials, as well as the House's position that it 
is entitled to information beyond what might be made publicly 
available, Attorney General Barr's communications during this 
period drew no distinction between Congress and the public, and 
ignored the Committee's requests for materials underlying the 
Mueller Report. In his March 22, 2019 notification letter, 
Attorney General Barr indicated that he would in short order 
``advise'' the Committee of the Special Counsel's ``principal 
conclusions'' and that he would consult with Deputy Attorney 
General Rosenstein and Special Counsel Mueller ``to determine 
what other information from the report can be released to 
Congress and the public consistent with the law, including the 
Special Counsel regulations, and the Department's longstanding 
policies and practices.''\24\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \24\Notification Letter.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On March 24, 2019, Attorney General Barr wrote a letter 
summarizing the Mueller Report's ``principal conclusions.''\25\ 
The letter also briefly discussed the status of the 
Department's review of the Mueller Report. Again, the Attorney 
General failed to address the Committee's stated expectation 
that it receive an unredacted copy and access to the Mueller 
Report's underlying materials. Instead, the Attorney General 
reiterated his intent to ``release as much of the Special 
Counsel's report as I can consistent with applicable law, 
regulations, and Departmental policies,'' and indicated his 
intent to withhold material that ``is or could be subject to 
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e).''\26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \25\Letter to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary; Hon. Lindsey Graham, Chairman, S. Comm. on the Judiciary; 
Hon. Doug Collins, Ranking Member, H. Comm. on the Judiciary; Hon. 
Dianne Feinstein, Ranking Member, S. Comm. on the Judiciary, from 
William Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of Justice (Mar. 24, 2019).
    \26\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In response, on March 25, 2019, Chairman Nadler along with 
the chairs of five other committees wrote a letter to Attorney 
General Barr formally requesting that he ``release the Special 
Counsel's full report to Congress no later than Tuesday, April 
2 [2019]'' and that he begin ``transmitting the underlying 
evidence and materials to the relevant committees at that 
time.''\27\ The letter further expressed the committees' 
willingness to accommodate the Attorney General's concerns, 
noting that ``[t]o the extent that you believe applicable law 
limits your ability to comply, we urge you to begin the process 
of consultation with us immediately in order to establish 
shared parameters for resolving those issues without 
delay.''\28\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \27\Letter to Hon. William Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of 
Justice, from Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary; 
Hon. Adam Schiff, Chairman, H. Permanent Select Comm. on Intelligence; 
Hon. Elijah Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight and Reform; Hon. 
Elliot Engel, Chairman, H. Comm. on Foreign Affairs; Hon. Maxine 
Waters, Chairwoman, H. Comm. on Financial Services & Hon. Richard Neal, 
Chairman, H. Comm. on Ways and Means (Mar. 25, 2019).
    \28\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The committee chairs' March 25 letter also addressed the 
reasons underlying their request. The chairs explained that 
``the release of the full report and the underlying evidence 
and documents is urgently needed'' by the committees ``to 
perform their duties under the Constitution.'' As the chairs 
explained, ``[t]hose duties include evaluating the underlying 
facts and determining whether legislative or other reforms are 
required--both to ensure that the Justice Department is able to 
carry out investigations without interference or obstruction by 
the President and to protect our future elections from foreign 
interference.''\29\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \29\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On March 29, 2019, Attorney General Barr responded to 
Chairman Nadler's March 25 letter, but failed to address the 
committee chairs' requests and their explicit offer to begin 
consultations over access to the Mueller Report's underlying 
materials.\30\ Instead, the Attorney General reiterated that 
the Department was preparing the Mueller Report for release by 
making what he described as ``the redactions that are 
required.''\31\ The Attorney General described four categories 
of information he intended to withhold from both Congress and 
the public: (1) material subject to Federal Rule of Criminal 
Procedure 6(e); (2) material that the intelligence community 
identifies as potentially compromising sensitive sources and 
methods; (3) material whose release could affect ongoing 
matters; and (4) information that would unduly infringe on the 
personal privacy and reputational interests of ``peripheral 
third parties.''\32\ The Attorney General indicated the Mueller 
Report would be released ``in mid-April, if not sooner,'' and 
offered to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on May 
2, 2019.\33\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \30\Letter to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, & Hon. Lindsey Graham, Chairman, S. Comm. on the Judiciary 
from Hon. William Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of Justice (Mar. 
29, 2019).
    \31\Id.
    \32\Id.
    \33\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    During this period, Committee majority staff engaged in 
discussions with DOJ Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA) 
officials in an attempt to begin the accommodations process 
offered in the chairs' March 25 letter, but the parties were 
ultimately unable to reach an agreement. OLA officials 
eventually informed Committee majority staff on March 29, 2019 
that the Department had no plans to share redacted portions of 
the Mueller Report with Congress, but indicated that further 
negotiations could proceed following the Mueller Report's 
public release.
    On April 1, 2019, Chairman Nadler and the chairs of the 
five other committees again wrote to Attorney General Barr 
urging him to ``begin the process of consultation with us 
immediately'' and to inform him that the Judiciary Committee 
``plans to begin the process of authorizing subpoenas for the 
report and underlying evidence and materials.''\34\ The letter 
contained a detailed appendix describing the nature of the 
committees' need for the Mueller Report and the underlying 
evidence, noting that ``[t]he longer the delay in obtaining 
this information, the more harm will accrue to Congress's 
independent duty to investigate misconduct by the President and 
to assure public confidence in the independence of federal law 
enforcement operations.''\35\ The letter further explained that 
neither Rule 6(e) nor any applicable privilege barred 
disclosure of these materials to Congress. Additionally, the 
letter stated that to the extent the Department believed it was 
unable to produce any materials due to Rule 6(e), which 
pertains to grand jury secrecy, then ``it should seek leave 
from the district court to produce those materials to 
Congress--as it has done in analogous situations in the 
past.''\36\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \34\Letter to Hon. William Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of 
Justice, from Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary; 
Hon. Adam Schiff, Chairman, H. Permanent Select Comm. on Intelligence; 
Hon. Elijah Cummings, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight and Reform; Hon. 
Eliot Engel, Chairman, H. Comm. on Foreign Affairs; Hon. Maxine Waters, 
Chairwoman, H. Comm. on Financial Services & Hon. Richard Neal, 
Chairman, H. Comm. on Ways and Means (Apr. 1, 2019).
    \35\Id.
    \36\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    That same day, Chairman Nadler announced a markup to 
authorize the issuance of a subpoena for the Mueller Report and 
the underlying material, and released a statement that 
``Attorney General Barr has thus far indicated he will not meet 
the April 2 deadline set by myself and five other committee 
chairs, and refused to work with us to provide the full report, 
without redactions, to Congress.''\37\ On April 3, 2019, the 
Committee, by a vote of 24 to 17, authorized Chairman Nadler to 
issue a subpoena for the Mueller Report and the underlying 
evidence. The Chairman did not, however, issue the subpoena 
pending further efforts to reach an accommodation with DOJ.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \37\Press Release, H. Comm. on the Judiciary, Wednesday: House 
Judiciary to Hold Markup to Authorize Subpoenas for Full Mueller Report 
and Related Matters, available at https://judiciary.house.gov/news/
press-releases/wednesday-house-judiciary-hold-markup-authorize-
subpoenas-full-mueller-report.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    At an appearance before the House Appropriations Committee 
on April 9, 2019, Attorney General Barr stated that he had no 
intention of accommodating the Committee's request until after 
the Mueller Report's public release.\38\ When directly asked 
whether DOJ would request the district court to approve the 
release of grand jury material to the Committee, Attorney 
General Barr responded, ``My intention is not to ask for it at 
this stage.''\39\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \38\Ellis Kim, AG Barr: No Plans to Ask Court to Release Grand Jury 
Info in Mueller Report, Nat'l L. J., Apr. 9, 2019.
    \39\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On April 11, 2019, Chairman Nadler, along with Chairman 
Adam Schiff, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority 
Leader Charles Schumer, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking 
Member Dianne Feinstein, and Senate Intelligence Committee Vice 
Chairman Mark Warner, wrote to Attorney General Barr to 
reiterate that ``as a matter of law, Congress is entitled to 
the full report . . . as well as the underlying evidence,'' and 
to remind him that ``the Department of Justice has an 
obligation to work with the relevant committees of the House 
and Senate to reach an accommodation on the full report and the 
underlying evidence.''\40\ They further noted that ``we have 
received no direct response, and you have made no effort to 
work with us to accommodate our concerns. This work should not 
wait until after you have provided a redacted report.''\41\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \40\Letter to Hon. William Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of 
Justice, from Hon. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker, U.S. House of 
Representatives; Hon. Charles Schumer, Minority Leader, U.S. Senate; 
Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary; Hon. Adam 
Schiff, Chairman, H. Permanent Select Comm. on Intelligence, Hon. 
Dianne Feinstein, Ranking Member, S. Comm. on the Judiciary & Hon. Mark 
Warner, Vice Chairman, S. Select Comm. on Intelligence (Apr. 11, 2019).
    \41\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Attorney General Barr released a redacted version of the 
Mueller Report to Congress and to the public on April 18, 2019. 
The substance of even the redacted Report expressly affirmed 
Congress' independent authority to conduct its own 
investigation pursuant to its legislative, oversight, and other 
constitutional prerogatives. Specifically, the Special Counsel 
noted the need not to ``preempt constitutional processes for 
addressing presidential misconduct,'' affirmed that ``Congress 
can validly make obstruction-of-justice statutes applicable to 
corruptly motivated official acts of the President,'' and 
rejected President Trump's ``statutory and constitutional 
defenses to the potential application of the obstruction-of-
justice statutes to the President's conduct.''\42\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \42\Mueller Report Vol. II, at 1, 171, 159.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Although the Committee had requested the unredacted Mueller 
Report on numerous occasions and had requested in multiple 
letters to begin consultation regarding access to redacted and 
underlying materials, Attorney General Barr refused to engage 
the Committee. In fact, Attorney General Barr did not make a 
direct, concrete offer to accommodate the Committee's request 
until after he released the redacted Mueller Report. In his 
letter accompanying the Mueller Report, Attorney General Barr 
finally acknowledged that ``you have expressed an interest in 
viewing an unredacted version of the report,'' but offered only 
to make a less redacted version of the Mueller Report available 
for review with grand jury information still withheld.\43\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \43\Letter to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary; Hon. Lindsey Graham, Chairman, S. Comm. on the Judiciary; 
Hon. Doug Collins, Ranking Member, H. Comm. on the Judiciary; Hon. 
Dianne Feinstein, Ranking Member, S. Comm. on the Judiciary, from 
William Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of Justice (Apr. 18, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Furthermore, in a separate letter written on April 18, 
2019, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd detailed the 
specific terms of Attorney General Barr's offer.\44\ The 
Attorney General would only permit the majority and minority 
leaders of the House and Senate, and Chairs and Ranking Members 
of select House and Senate Committees, including Chairman 
Nadler and Ranking Member Collins, along with a single staff 
member each, to review at the Department of Justice ``certain 
material redacted in the publicly released report'' and for a 
limited period of time between April 22 and April 26, 2019.\45\ 
The Department further offered to permit review of a less-
redacted version of the Mueller Report to the same limited 
group on Capitol Hill for a one-week period starting on April 
29, 2019.\46\ The Department insisted that any notes taken 
would also have to remain at the Department in a secure 
facility.\47\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \44\Letter to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary & Hon. Lindsey Graham, Chairman, S. Comm. on the Judiciary, 
from Stephen Boyd, Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of Justice 
(Apr. 18, 2019).
    \45\Id.
    \46\Id.
    \47\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On April 19, 2019, Chairman Nadler informed Attorney 
General Barr that although ``the current proposal is not 
workable, we are open to discussing a reasonable accommodation 
with the Department that would protect law enforcement 
sensitive information while allowing Congress to fulfill its 
constitutional duties.''\48\ On that same day, Chairman Nadler 
issued a subpoena to Attorney General Barr for: (1) the full 
Mueller Report, including any exhibits or attachments; (2) all 
materials referenced in the Mueller Report; and (3) all 
materials obtained or produced by the Special Counsel's office. 
The subpoena required production of these materials by May 1, 
2019. In a statement released to the public, Chairman Nadler 
explained, ``I am open to working with the Department to reach 
a reasonable accommodation for access to these materials, 
however I cannot accept any proposal which leaves most of 
Congress in the dark, as they grapple with their duties of 
legislation, oversight and constitutional accountability.''\49\ 
To emphasize Congress' willingness to accommodate the 
Department's concerns, Speaker Pelosi on May 1, 2019, wrote the 
Attorney General directly to urge that initial proposals for 
resolving the dispute that had been raised at an in-person 
meeting of Congressional and Department staff on April 29, 2019 
``be given serious consideration by you so we can work together 
productively.''\50\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \48\Letter to Hon. William Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of 
Justice, from Hon. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker, U.S. House of 
Representatives; Hon. Charles Schumer, Minority Leader, U.S. Senate; 
Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary; Hon. Adam 
Schiff, Chairman, H. Permanent Select Comm. on Intelligence; Hon. 
Dianne Feinstein, Ranking Member, S. Comm. on the Judiciary & Hon. Mark 
Warner, Vice Chairman, S. Select Comm. on Intelligence (Apr. 19, 2019).
    \49\Press Release, H. Comm. on the Judiciary, Chairman Nadler 
Issues Subpoena for Full Mueller Report and Underlying Materials, 
available at https://judiciary.house.gov/news/press-releases/chairman-
nadler-issues-subpoena-full-mueller-report-and-underlying-materials.
    \50\Letter to Hon. William Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of 
Justice, from Hon. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives 
(May 1, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On May 1, 2019, the Department informed the Committee that 
it would not comply with Chairman Nadler's subpoena.\51\ On May 
3, 2019, Chairman Nadler responded to the Department's May 1 
letter, noting:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \51\Letter to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, from Stephen Boyd, Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of 
Justice (May 1, 2019).

          [T]he Department has never explained why it is 
        willing to allow only a small number of Members to view 
        a less-redacted version of the report, subject to the 
        condition that they cannot discuss what they have seen 
        with anyone else. The Department also remains unwilling 
        to work with the Committee to seek a court order 
        permitting disclosure of materials in the report that 
        are subject to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e). 
        And the Department has offered no reason whatsoever for 
        failing to produce the evidence underlying the report, 
        except for a complaint that there is too much of it and 
        a vague assertion about the sensitivity of law 
        enforcement files.\52\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \52\Letter to Stephen Boyd, Assistant Attorney General, U.S. 
Department of Justice, from Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on 
the Judiciary (May 3, 2019).

    Chairman Nadler also observed that Attorney General Barr's 
``proposed conditions are a departure from accommodations made 
by previous Attorneys General of both parties.''\53\ The letter 
notes that the Department ``produced more than 880,000 pages of 
sensitive investigative materials pertaining to its 
investigation of Hillary Clinton, as well as much other 
material relating to the then-ongoing Russia 
investigation.''\54\ The letter further notes that production 
``included highly classified material, notes from FBI 
interviews, internal text messages, and law enforcement 
memoranda'' and that in the ``most recent prior instance in 
which the Department conducted an investigation of a sitting 
President, Kenneth Starr produced a 445-page report to Congress 
along with 18 boxes of accompanying evidence.''\55\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \53\Id.
    \54\Id.
    \55\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chairman Nadler nonetheless communicated his continued 
willingness to ``negotiate a reasonable accommodation with the 
Department.''\56\ Chairman Nadler renewed his request that the 
``Department work jointly with Congress to seek a court order 
permitting disclosure of materials covered by Rule 6(e)''; 
offered to prioritize a ``specific, defined set of underlying 
investigative and evidentiary materials for immediate 
production,'' namely the ``investigative and evidentiary 
materials specifically cited in the report''; and indicated he 
was ``prepared to discuss limiting and prioritizing our request 
. . . for other underlying evidence obtained by the Special 
Counsel's office.''\57\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \56\Id.
    \57\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On the evening before the scheduled date of the Committee's 
meeting to consider a resolution holding the Attorney General 
in contempt, and while negotiations were ongoing, the Committee 
received a letter from Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. 
Boyd that stated, ``In the face of the Committee's threatened 
contempt vote, the Attorney General will be compelled to 
request that the President invoke executive privilege with 
respect to the materials subject to subpoena.'' He then 
requested that ``the Committee hold the subpoena in abeyance 
and delay any vote on whether to recommend a citation of 
contempt for noncompliance with the subpoena, pending the 
President's determination of this question.'' Although Mr. Boyd 
clarified that this request was ``not itself an assertion of 
executive privilege,'' he did explain that should the Committee 
decide ``to proceed in spite of this request . . . the Attorney 
General will advise the President to make a protective 
assertion of executive privilege over the subpoenaed material, 
which undoubtedly includes material covered by executive 
privilege.'' Today, during the Committee's meeting, the 
Committee received a letter from Mr. Boyd stating ``that the 
President has asserted executive privilege over the entirety of 
the subpoenaed materials,'' and that this was a ``protective 
assertion'' of the privilege. Mr. Boyd attached a letter dated 
the day of the Committee's meeting, from Attorney General 
William P. Barr to the President requesting that the President 
``make a protective assertion of executive privilege.'' No 
other evidence of the President's assertion of the privilege 
was provided.
    The Committee has a number of concerns about the validity 
of this assertion: (1) the purported protective assertion is 
not a valid claim of privilege, including because executive 
privilege has been broadly waived in this case as a matter of 
law and fact; (2) the proposed assertion could have been made 
previously and at the very least, by May 1, 2019, the subpoena 
return date; (3) the correspondence does not contain a 
statement by the President himself asserting the privilege; (4) 
it is not credible that ``the entirety of the subpoenaed 
material'' consists of ``communications authored or solicited 
and received by those members of an immediate White House 
adviser's staff who have broad and significant responsibility 
for investigating and formulating the advice to be given the 
President on the particular matter to which the communications 
relate''\58\; (5) it is not credible that the entirety of the 
materials are subject to other constitutionally recognized 
privileges; (6) the assertion is suspect with respect to 
redacted portions of the Report because the Attorney General 
himself has indicated a willingness to allow an arbitrarily 
limited number of Members to view those materials; (7) the 
Department of Justice has failed to provide any details by 
which the Committee might evaluate the applicability of the 
privilege, such as the senders and recipients of the documents, 
or the privilege log and other information called for by the 
subpoena; (8) even if the assertion of the privilege were valid 
as an initial matter, which it is not, the assertion has been 
overcome here, as: (i) the Committee has demonstrated a 
sufficient need for the documents as they are likely to contain 
evidence critical to the Committee's inquiry; (ii) the 
documents sought cannot expeditiously be obtained any other 
way; and (iii) any executive privilege that could be asserted 
to the report has been waived when the President previously 
made the decision not to assert executive privilege over any 
portion of the report, as announced by the Attorney General; 
(9) there is substantial evidence indicating that the President 
engaged in obstruction of justice and other misconduct, and 
therefore the public interest in the fair administration of 
justice outweighs the President's generalized interest in 
confidentiality; (10) and without these documents, the 
Committee cannot fully perform its vital legislative, oversight 
and constitutional duties. Accordingly, the last-minute claims 
of the ``protective'' blanket assertion of executive privilege 
over the entirety of the subpoenaed materials does not change 
the fact that Attorney General William P. Barr is in contempt 
of Congress today for failing to turn over lawfully subpoenaed 
documents.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \58\In re Sealed Case, 121 F.3d 729, 752 (D.C. Cir 1997).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      II. Need for the Legislation


                  A. AUTHORITY AND LEGISLATIVE PURPOSE

    The Committee on the Judiciary is a standing Committee of 
the House of Representatives, duly established pursuant to the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, which are adopted 
pursuant to the Rulemaking Clause of the Constitution.\59\ 
House rule X(l) grants to the Committee legislative and 
oversight jurisdiction over, inter alia, ``judicial 
proceedings, civil and criminal,''; ``criminal law 
enforcement''; the ``application, administration, execution, 
and effectiveness of laws and programs addressing subjects 
within its jurisdiction''; the ``operation of Federal agencies 
and entities having responsibilities for the administration and 
execution of laws and programs addressing subjects within its 
jurisdiction''; and any conditions or circumstances that may 
indicate the necessity or desirability of enacting new or 
additional legislation addressing subjects within its 
jurisdiction.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \59\U.S. Const., Art. I, Sec. 5, Cl. 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    House rule XI specifically authorizes the Committee and its 
subcommittees to ``require, by subpoena or otherwise, the 
attendance and testimony of such witnesses and the production 
of such books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, and 
documents as it considers necessary.'' The rule also provides 
that the ``power to authorize and issue subpoenas'' may be 
delegated to the Committee Chairman.
    The investigation into the alleged obstruction of justice, 
public corruption, and other abuses of power by President 
Donald Trump, his associates, and members of his Administration 
and related concerns is being undertaken pursuant to the full 
authority of the Committee under rule X(l) and applicable law. 
The purposes of this investigation include: (1) investigating 
and exposing any possible malfeasance, abuse of power, 
corruption, obstruction of justice, or other misconduct on the 
part of the President or other members of his Administration; 
(2) considering whether the conduct uncovered may warrant 
amending or creating new federal authorities, including among 
other things, relating to election security, campaign finance, 
misuse of electronic data, and the types of obstructive conduct 
that the Mueller Report describes; and (3) considering whether 
any of the conduct described in the Special Counsel's Report 
warrants the Committee in taking any further steps under 
Congress' Article I powers. That includes whether to approve 
articles of impeachment with respect to the President or any 
other Administration official, as well as the consideration of 
other steps such as censure or issuing criminal, civil or 
administrative referrals. No determination has been made as to 
such further actions, and the Committee needs to review the 
unredacted report, the underlying evidence, and associated 
documents so that it can ascertain the facts and consider its 
next steps.\60\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \60\Several bills relevant to the legislative purpose of this 
investigation have already been introduced and referred to the 
Committee, including but not limited to: the Special Counsel 
Independence and Integrity Act, H.R. 197, 116th Cong (2019); the 
Special Counsel Reporting Act, H.R. 1357, 116th Cong. (2019); the 
Presidential Pardon Transparency Act, H.R. 1348, 116th Cong. (2019); 
and the For the People Act of 2019, H.R. 1, 116th Cong. (2019) (now 
pending in the Senate).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                               B. URGENCY

    Although the Committee has attempted to engage in 
accommodations with Attorney General Barr for several months, 
it can no longer afford to delay, and must resort to contempt 
proceedings. The Committee urgently requires access to the 
full, unredacted Mueller Report and to the investigatory and 
evidentiary materials cited in the Report. The Mueller Report 
describes the Russian government's extensive efforts to 
interfere in the 2016 presidential election ``in sweeping and 
systematic fashion.''\61\ First, a Russian entity known as the 
``Internet Research Agency'' (IRA) carried out a social media 
influence operation to ``sow discord in the U.S. political 
system through what it termed `information warfare.'''\62\ 
Second, Russia's intelligence services hacked into computer 
networks associated with the Clinton campaign, stole hundreds 
of thousands of e-mails and other documents, and released those 
documents online.\63\ Third, Russian intelligence services 
successfully compromised state computer networks; for example, 
they ``gained access to a database containing information on 
millions of registered Illinois voters, and extracted data 
related to thousands of U.S. voters,'' and ``targeted employees 
of . . . voting technology company that developed software used 
by numerous U.S. counties to manage voter rolls, and installed 
malware on the company network.''\64\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \61\Mueller Report Vol. I, at 1.
    \62\Id. Vol. I, at 4.
    \63\Id. Vol. I, at 4-5.
    \64\Id. Vol. I, at 50-51.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Russia's hostile actions against the United States and its 
democratic institutions are ongoing. The Justice Department has 
indicated in at least one other case that Russian influence 
efforts continued into the 2018 midterm elections.\65\ With the 
2020 elections looming, this threat to our democracy is at risk 
of recurrence, and Congress must act immediately to address it. 
Just recently, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that Russia 
continues to pose a ``very significant counterintelligence 
threat,'' and that the U.S. government ``view[ed] 2018 as just 
kind of a dress rehearsal for the big show in 2020.''\66\ 
Earlier this year, the Director of National Intelligence 
similarly warned that Russia and other adversaries ``probably 
are already looking to the 2020 U.S. election'' to conduct 
malign influence operations and that ``Moscow may employ 
additional influence toolkits--such as spreading 
disinformation, conducting hack-and-leak operations, or 
manipulating data--in a more targeted fashion to influence U.S. 
policy, actions, and elections.''\67\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \65\See Criminal Complaint para.14, United States v. Khusyaynova, 
No. 1:18-mj-464 (E.D. Va. Sept. 28, 2018) (alleging Russian national 
participated in a conspiracy ``to interfere with U.S. political and 
electoral processes, including the 2018 U.S. elections'').
    \66\Transcript, A Conversation with Christopher Wray, Council on 
Foreign Relations (Apr. 26, 2019).
    \67\Daniel R. Coats, Director of National Intelligence, Worldwide 
Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community (Jan. 29, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the face of these efforts, and with the 2020 elections 
approaching, the Committee requires the most complete possible 
understanding of Russia's influence and hacking operations. 
Among other things, the Committee must be permitted to assess 
whether the Department and the FBI are devoting sufficient 
resources to the growing threat, and to consider remedial 
legislation such as criminal penalties targeting election 
inference activities or the use of illegally acquired data. In 
its current form, sections of the Mueller Report describing the 
structure and actions taken by the IRA are heavily 
redacted.\68\ Sections of the Mueller Report describing the 
hacking activities undertaken by Russian intelligence services 
likewise contain significant redactions, which impair the 
ability of the Committee to gain a complete understanding of 
Russia's actions.\69\ Without this information, the Committee 
is unable to fully perform its responsibility to protect the 
impending 2020 elections--and thus our democracy itself--from a 
recurrence of Russian interference.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \68\Mueller Report, Vol. I, at 15-35.
    \69\Id. Vol. I, at 35-51.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    President Trump's repeated efforts to obstruct and derail 
the Special Counsel's investigations also pose grave concerns. 
Volume II of Special Counsel Mueller's Report details 
``multiple acts by the President that were capable of exerting 
undue influence over law enforcement investigations, including 
the Russian-interference and obstruction investigations.''\70\ 
The President's efforts increased in intensity over time. Once 
he ``became aware that his own conduct was being investigated 
in an obstruction-of-justice inquiry, he engaged in a second 
phase of conduct, involving public attacks on the 
investigation, non-public efforts to control it, and efforts in 
both public and private to encourage witnesses not to cooperate 
with the investigation.''\71\ These actions ``ranged from 
efforts to remove the Special Counsel and to reverse the effect 
of the Attorney General's recusal; to the attempted use of 
official power to limit the scope of the investigation; to 
direct and indirect contacts with witnesses with the potential 
to influence their testimony.''\72\ In order to carry out this 
campaign of obstruction, President Trump ``sought to use his 
official power outside of usual channels,'' including by 
conducting ``one-on-one meetings'' with Administration 
officials or other advisors and by contacting the Attorney 
General about the Russia investigation after he had been 
explicitly counseled against doing so.\73\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \70\Id. Vol. II, at 157.
    \71\Id. Vol. II, at 7.
    \72\Id. Vol. II, at 157.
    \73\Id.; see also e.g., id. Vol. II at 50-51 (President Trump 
pulled Attorney General Sessions aside to ask that he ``unrecuse'' 
himself from the Russia investigation after the White House Counsel's 
office directed that Sessions should not be contacted about the 
matter).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Mueller Report contains evidence that in the wake of an 
attack by a hostile nation against American democratic 
institutions, President Trump's response was to undermine the 
investigation rather than take action against the perpetrators. 
The facts recounted in the Mueller Report make clear the 
Committee's interest in obtaining further, more detailed 
information. For example, the Mueller Report states that when 
the President learned that he himself was under investigation 
for obstruction, the President ``directed McGahn to call 
Rosenstein to have the Special Counsel removed.''\74\ At one 
point the President went so far as to direct White House 
Counsel Don McGahn to call Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein 
and inform him that ```Mueller has conflicts and can't be the 
Special Counsel.'''\75\ The President later ``asked McGahn in 
[a] meeting why he had told Special Counsel's Office 
investigators that the President had told him to have the 
Special Counsel removed''\76\ and ordered Mr. McGahn to issue a 
``statement denying that he had been asked to fire the Special 
Counsel and that he had threatened to quit in protest.''\77\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \74\Id. Vol. II, at 88.
    \75\Id.
    \76\Id. Vol. II, at 117.
    \77\Id. Vol. II, at 114.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Furthermore, the Mueller Report notes that the President 
attempted to have Attorney General ``Sessions reverse his 
recusal [and] take control of the Special Counsel's 
investigation.''\78\ The President repeatedly tried to order 
Attorney General Sessions to interfere in or limit the Special 
Counsel investigation, including meeting with Sessions alone 
and ``suggest[ing] that Sessions should `unrecuse' from the 
Russia investigation,''\79\ and attempting to send a message 
through campaign advisor Corey Lewandowski asking that 
``Sessions limit the scope of the Russia investigation.''\80\ 
The President's ``position as the head of the Executive Branch 
provided him with unique and powerful means of influencing 
official proceedings, subordinate officers, and potential 
witnesses.''\81\ This conduct also included discouraging 
associates such as his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, 
from cooperating by using ``inducements in the form of positive 
messages in an effort to get Cohen not to cooperate, and then 
turn[ing] to attacks and intimidation to deter the provision of 
information or undermine Cohen's credibility once Cohen began 
cooperating.''\82\ This also included using his private 
attorneys to dangle potential pardons to discourage former 
campaign chairman Paul Manafort from cooperating, such as by 
having Rudolph Giuliani make ``repeated statements suggesting 
that a pardon was a possibility for Manafort, while also making 
it clear that the President did not want Manafort to `flip' and 
cooperate with the government.''\83\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \78\Id. Vol. II, at 107.
    \79\Id. Vol. II, at 51.
    \80\Id. Vol. II, at 90.
    \81\Id. Vol. II, at 7.
    \82\Id. Vol. II, at 154.
    \83\Id. Vol. II, at 131.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In order to protect the rule of law, the Committee requires 
an immediate and more detailed accounting of these and other 
actions taken by the President. The Special Counsel ``conducted 
a thorough factual investigation in order to preserve the 
evidence when memories were fresh and documentary materials 
were available.''\84\ As a result, the Committee has sought 
access to the fruits of that work--including investigative 
materials, such as interview reports, as well as evidence, such 
as contemporaneous notes taken by fact witnesses. The Committee 
urgently requires access to those materials to perform its core 
constitutional functions. The Special Counsel has expressly 
noted the need to avoid ``preempt[ing] constitutional processes 
for addressing presidential misconduct,''\85\ and affirmed that 
``Congress can validly make obstruction-of-justice statutes 
applicable to corruptly motivated official acts of the 
President without impermissibly undermining his Article II 
functions.''\86\ If the Committee is to proceed, it requires 
the unredacted Mueller Report and underlying materials without 
further delay.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \84\Id. Vol. II, at 2.
    \85\Id. Vol. II, at 1.
    \86\Id. Vol. II, at 171.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As the Special Counsel further noted, the Department has a 
policy against indicting a sitting president, which the Special 
Counsel ``accepted for purposes of exercising prosecutorial 
jurisdiction.''\87\ Congress is therefore the only body able to 
hold the President to account for improper conduct in our 
tripartite system, and urgently requires the subpoenaed 
material to determine whether and how to proceed with its 
constitutional duty to provide checks and balances on the 
President and Executive Branch. Otherwise, the President 
remains insulated from legal consequences and sits above the 
law. As the Special Counsel emphasized, in our system, ``no 
person in this country is so high that he is above the 
law.''\88\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \87\Id.
    \88\Id. Vol. II at 181-82 (citations, quotation marks and brackets 
omitted).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                Hearings

    For the purposes of section 103(i) of H. Res. 6 of the 
116th Congress, the Committee's May 2, 2019 hearing on 
``Oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice: Report by 
Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III on the Investigation 
Into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election and 
Related Matters'' was used to develop this Report. Attorney 
General Barr was scheduled at appear at this hearing, but 
failed to do so. In addition, the Committee held a related 
hearing on February 8, 2019 entitled ``Oversight of the U.S. 
Department of Justice.'' Matthew Whitaker, Acting Attorney 
General, on behalf of U.S. Department of Justice, was the sole 
witness. The hearing considered various matters, including the 
Justice Department's role with respect to Special Counsel 
Mueller's investigation and his then-anticipated report.
    Lastly, the Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, 
Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties held a hearing on March 27, 
2019 on ``Examining the Constitutional Role of the Pardon 
Power.'' The witnesses included Caroline Fredrickson, 
President, American Constitution Society for Law and Policy; 
Justin Florence, Legal Director, Protect Democracy; Andrew 
Kent, Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law; and 
James Pfiffner, University Professor in the Schar School of 
Policy and Government, George Mason University. Despite the 
Committee's repeated outreach, it was unable to secure a 
Department witness from the Office of the Pardon Attorney for 
the hearing. The hearing considered the potential 
constitutional and legal limits on the president's power to 
grant clemency.

                        Committee Consideration

    On May 8, 2019, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered the Report favorably reported with an amendment, by a 
rollcall vote of 24 to 16, a quorum being present.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
following rollcall votes occurred during the Committee's 
consideration of the Report:
    1. A question of consideration raised by Mr. Sensenbrenner 
was agreed to by a rollcall vote of 22 to 12.


    2. An amendment by Mr. Nadler to the Amendment in the 
Nature of a Substitute describing the Committee's response to: 
(1) a letter received by the Committee on the evening of May 7, 
2019 from Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd requesting 
the Committee hold the subpoena in abeyance and delay any vote 
on whether to recommend a citation of contempt for 
noncompliance with such subpoena; and (2) a letter received by 
the Committee on the morning of May 8, 2019 from Assistant 
Attorney General Boyd stating that the President has asserted 
executive privilege over the entirety of the subpoenaed 
materials and that this was a protective assertion of the 
privilege passed by a rollcall vote of 20 to 12.


    3. A motion by Mr. Nadler to report the Committee Report 
for the Resolution Recommending that the House of 
Representatives Find William P. Barr, Attorney General, U.S. 
Department of Justice, in Contempt of Congress for Refusal to 
Comply with a Subpoena Duly Issued by the Committee on the 
Judiciary, as amended, favorably to the House passed by a 
rollcall vote of 24 to 16.


                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this Report.

  New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures and Congressional Budget 
                          Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause (3)(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has requested 
but not received a cost estimate for this Report from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office. The Committee has 
requested but not received from the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office a statement as to whether this 
Report contains any new budget authority, spending authority, 
credit authority, or an increase or decrease in revenues or tax 
expenditures.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of the Report establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the federal government known to be duplicative of 
another federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    The Committee states that pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
purpose of the Report is to enforce the Committee's authority 
to subpoena and obtain the unredacted Mueller Report, and its 
underlying investigative and evidentiary materials.

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In accordance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Report does not contain any 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                          Rule of Construction

    No provision in this Resolution or Report shall be 
construed as a directive for the Attorney General to violate 
Federal law or rules, including but not limited to Rule 6 of 
the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

                            Dissenting Views


    On the Resolution and Report Recommending to the U.S. House of 
  Representatives that Attorney General William P. Barr be cited for 
                          contempt of Congress


                              May 8, 2019


                                CONTENTS

  I. Introduction....................................................24
 II. Factual background..............................................25
III. Summary of Special Counsel regulations, investigation, and repor30
 IV. Contempt of Congress is not appropriate under the circumstances.31
          a. By the Chairman's own admission, the subpoena is 
              overbroad..........................................    31
          b. The Committee is moving at unprecedented speed, and 
              by the Chairman's own admission the accommodations 
              process has yet to take place......................    32
          c. The Chairman's stated rationale for needing the 
              Report is lacking..................................    34
          d. The Committee's subpoena requires the Attorney 
              General to violate federal law.....................    36
          e. The Department of Justice has been extraordinarily 
              transparent. In contrast, the Chairman refused the 
              Department's accommodations and negotiations and is 
              plowing forward with contempt proceedings..........    37
          f. Contempt is a rare and extreme remedy. Given the 
              Committee's rejection of the Attorney General's 
              efforts at accommodation and the Committee's 
              unprecedented timeframe, contempt is premature.....    39
          g. More appropriate and effective avenues exist to 
              pursue this information............................    40
  V. Conclusion......................................................40

                            I. Introduction

    On May 6, 2019, Chairman Nadler noticed a business meeting 
to consider a report to the U.S. House of Representatives 
holding Attorney General William P. Barr in contempt of 
Congress for failing to fully comply with a congressional 
subpoena (the ``subpoena'') by the House Committee on the 
Judiciary (the ``Committee''). The celerity of the Chairman's 
decision to take this step is unprecedented and unwarranted--
the temerity of the actions demanded of the Attorney General 
even more so because they demand that he violate federal law.
    On March 22, 2019, Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III 
(the ``Special Counsel'') delivered his report (the ``Report'' 
or the ``Mueller Report'') on Russian interference in the 2016 
election to the Attorney General. On March 25, 2019, the 
Chairman requested the full Report from the Attorney General. 
On April 18, 2019, the Attorney General provided the Report to 
the Chairman and the public. This version of the Report 
contained four types of redactions consistent with the law and 
to protect United States Department of Justice (the 
``Department'') equities, including ongoing prosecutions. The 
Department also offered to the Chairman a chance to review a 
less-redacted version of the report. On April 19, 2019, the 
Chairman publicly refused the Department's offer and issued the 
subpoena for the full Report and its underlying evidence. On 
May 6, 2019, just 17 days later, the Chairman announced a 
Committee vote to hold the Attorney General in contempt of 
Congress for not fully complying with the subpoena.
    The Chairman's haste to hold the Attorney General in 
contempt has not allowed for any accommodations between the 
Committee and the Attorney General. This process--a staple of 
congressional oversight for generations--is imperative to 
filing suit in federal court attempting to have a subpoena 
enforced.
    The Chairman's rush to contempt is not an action befitting 
the Committee. Such action underscores the tenuous legal 
strategy that the Chairman advocates. Setting substantive 
arguments aside, solely on the bases of precedent, 
constitutional norms, and the general notion that Congress 
should not encourage the populace--let alone the chief law 
enforcement officer of the nation--to violate federal law, the 
prognosis for an outcome favorable to the Chairman's legal 
position is dim.

                         II. Factual Background

    According to the contempt citation, the Committee ``is 
currently engaged in an investigation into alleged obstruction 
of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by 
President Donald Trump, his associates, and members of his 
Administration.'' This investigation is an abuse of 
congressional oversight authority.\2\ The power to investigate 
and prosecute crimes is reserved for the executive branch.\3\ 
The Chairman has failed to articulate a valid legislative 
purpose for his sweeping demands of the executive branch and 
the Attorney General.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Letter from Hon. Doug Collins, Ranking Member, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary 
(Mar. 7, 2019) available at https://republicans-judiciary.house.gov/
press-release/collins-to-nadler-democrat-investigation-an-abuse-of-
power-assault-on-rule-of-law/ (last visited May 7, 2019).
    \3\Id. at 3 (citing Kilburn v. Thompson, 103 U.S. 168 (1881); Quinn 
v. U.S., 349 U.S. 155, 161 (1955)).
    \4\Id at 2 (citing Wilkinson v. United States, 365 U.S. 399 (1961).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In February 2019, media reports indicated the Special 
Counsel was nearing the end of his investigation. On February 
22, 2019, the Chairman and other Democratic leaders wrote the 
Attorney General expressing ``in the strongest possible terms, 
our expectation that the Department of Justice will release to 
the public the report of Special Counsel Mueller submits to 
you--without delay and to the maximum extent permitted by 
law.''\5\ On March 14, 2019, H. Con. Res. 24 was agreed to in 
the House, directing that the Report would be made available to 
the public and Congress. On March 22, 2019, the Attorney 
General notified the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House 
and Senate Judiciary Committees (the ``Judiciary Committees'') 
the Special Counsel had concluded his investigation and 
submitted to the Attorney General a confidential report, as 
required under the pertinent regulations.\6\ The Attorney 
General also confirmed the Special Counsel did not take any 
action contrary to Department practices.\7\ The Attorney 
General made this communication to Congress public, something 
he is not required to do under the regulations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Letter from Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary; Hon. Adam Schiff, Chairman, H. Permanent Select Committee on 
Intelligence; Hon. Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Committee on 
Oversight & Reform; Hon. Eliot Engel, Chairman, H. Foreign Affairs 
Comm.; Hon. Maxine Waters, Chairwoman, H. Comm. Financial Serv.; Hon. 
Richard Neal, Chairman, H. Ways & Means Comm. to Hon. William P. Barr, 
Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of Justice (Feb. 22, 2019).
    \6\Letter from Hon. William P. Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Dep't 
of Justice to Hon. Lindsey Graham, Chairman, S. Comm. on the Judiciary; 
Hon. Dianne Feinstein, Ranking Member, S. Comm. on the Judiciary; Hon. 
Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary; Hon. Doug Collins, 
Ranking Member, H. Comm. on the Judiciary (Mar. 22, 2019).
    \7\Id.
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    On March 24, 2019, the Attorney General wrote to the 
Judiciary Committees to provide the Special Counsel's principal 
conclusions. He said the Special Counsel found no conspiracy or 
coordination between Donald Trump's campaign and Russia.\8\ He 
said the Special Counsel did not reach a conclusion on 
obstruction: ``The Special Counsel states that `while this 
report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, 
it also does not exonerate him.'''\9\ The Attorney General and 
the Deputy Attorney General reviewed the evidence and concluded 
there was not enough evidence to charge the President with 
obstruction.\10\ An Office of Legal Counsel opinion stating a 
sitting president cannot be indicted was not a factor in the 
Attorney General's decision.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\Letter from Hon. William P. Barr to Hon. Lindsey Graham, 
Chairman, S. Comm. on the Judiciary, Hon. Dianne Feinstein, Ranking 
Member, S. Comm on the Judiciary, Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. 
Comm. on the Judiciary, & Hon. Doug Collins, Ranking Member, H. Comm. 
on the Judiciary (Mar. 24, 2019).
    \9\Id.
    \10\Id.
    \11\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On March 25, 2019, the Chairman and other Democratic 
leaders wrote the Attorney General ``formally request[ing] that 
[he] release the Special Counsel's full report to Congress no 
later than Tuesday, April 2. We also ask that [the Attorney 
General] begin transmitting the underlying evidence and 
materials to the relevant committees at that time.''\12\ In 
this letter, the Chairman and other Democratic leaders failed 
to state a valid legislative purpose for their request.\13\ On 
March 29, 2019, the Attorney General wrote to the Judiciary 
Committees about the release of the Special Counsel's 
report.\14\ He said the Judiciary Committees would receive the 
report in mid-April. If not sooner.\15\ He also said he was 
coordinating with the Special Counsel and the Deputy Attorney 
General on redactions to ensure compliance with the law and 
Department regulations requiring the protection of: (1) grand 
jury material; (2) classified material; (3) ongoing 
investigative material; and (4) ``information that would unduly 
infringe on the personal privacy and reputational interests of 
peripheral third parties.''\16\ Lastly, the Attorney General 
offered to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 
1, 2019, and the Committee on May 2, 2019.\17\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\Letter from Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary; Hon. Adam Schiff, Chairman, H. Permanent Select Committee on 
Intelligence; Hon. Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Committee on 
Oversight & Reform; Hon. Eliot Engel, Chairman, H. Foreign Affairs 
Comm.; Hon. Maxine Waters, Chairwoman, H. Comm. Financial Serv.; Hon. 
Richard Neal, Chairman, H. Ways & Means Comm. to Hon. William P. Barr, 
Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of Justice (Mar. 25, 2019).
    \13\Id.
    \14\Letter from Hon. William P. Barr to Hon. Lindsey Graham, 
Chairman, S. Comm. on the Judiciary, Hon. Dianne Feinstein, Ranking 
Member, S. Comm. on the Judiciary, Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. 
Comm. on the Judiciary, & Hon. Doug Collins, Ranking Member, H. Comm. 
on the Judiciary, Mar. 29, 2019.
    \15\Id. at 1.
    \16\Id. at 1.
    \17\Id. at 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On April 1, 2019, the Chairman and other Democratic leaders 
sent a letter to the Attorney General demanding the full 
Mueller Report.\18\ This letter failed to state a legislative 
purpose for requiring the Report.\19\ On April 11, 2019, 
Speaker of the House Nancy P. Pelosi (the ``Speaker''), the 
Chairman, and other Democratic leaders wrote the Attorney 
General claiming that Congress is entitled to the full Report 
and among other things, ``to express profound concern about 
your [the Attorney General's] comments before the Senate 
Appropriations Committee regarding your apparent review of the 
investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 
election.''\20\ Also on April 11, 2019, the Chairman wrote to 
the Attorney General reiterating his request for the 
Report.\21\ This letter also did not provide a valid 
legislative purpose for requiring the Report.\22\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \18\Letter from Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary; Hon. Adam Schiff, Chairman, H. Permanent Select Committee on 
Intelligence; Hon. Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman, H. Committee on 
Oversight & Reform; Hon. Eliot Engel, Chairman, H. Foreign Affairs 
Comm.; Hon. Maxine Waters, Chairwoman, H. Comm. Financial Serv.; Hon. 
Richard Neal, Chairman, H. Ways & Means Comm. to Hon. William P. Barr, 
Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of Justice (Apr. 1, 2019).
    \19\Id.
    \20\Letter from Hon. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker, H. of Representatives, 
Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary; Hon. Adam 
Schiff, Chairman, H. Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; Hon. 
Charles E. Schumer, S. Democratic Leader; Hon. Dianne Feinstein, 
Ranking Member, S. Comm. on the Judiciary; Hon. Mark Warner, Vice 
Chairman, S. Select Comm. on Intelligence to Hon. William P. Barr, 
Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of Justice (Apr. 11, 2019).
    \21\Letter from Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary to Hon. William P. Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of 
Justice (Apr. 11, 2019).
    \22\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On April 18, 2019, the Attorney General released the Report 
with appropriate redactions to Congress and the public. The 
Attorney General also offered certain Members of Congress the 
opportunity to view in camera a less-redacted version of the 
Report (containing only grand-jury materials as redactions). 
The version offered to certain Members--which the Chairman has 
refused to see--would ``permit review of 98.5% of the [R]eport, 
including 99.9% of Volume II, which discusses the President's 
actions.''\23\ The same day, April 18, 2019, the Chairman 
signed a subpoena duces tecum to the Attorney General.\24\ On 
April 19, 2019, Committee staff for the majority served the 
Attorney General with the previously signed subpoena.\25\ Also 
on April 19, 2019, the Speaker, the Chairman, and other 
Democratic leaders wrote to the Attorney General informing him 
that ``your [the Attorney General's] proposed accommodation--
which among other things would prohibit discussion of the full 
report, even with other Committee Members--is not 
acceptable.''\26\ The correspondence did not state a 
legislative purpose for demanding the full Report and other 
investigative materials but opined on Congress' need for this 
information to fulfill ``its functions as intended in the 
Constitution.\27\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \23\Letter from Hon. Stephen E. Boyd, Ass't Attorney General, U.S. 
Dep't of Justice, to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary (May 1, 2019).
    \24\Press Release, H. Comm. on the Judiciary, Chairman Nadler 
Issues Subpoena for Full Mueller Report and Underlying Materials, 
available at https://judicial.house (last visited May 7, 2019).
    \25\Id.
    \26\Letter from Hon. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker, H. of Representatives, 
Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary; Hon. Adam 
Schiff, Chairman, H. Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; Hon. 
Charles E. Schumer, S. Democratic Leader; Hon. Dianne Feinstein, 
Ranking Member, S. Comm. on the Judiciary; Hon. Mark Warner, Vice 
Chairman, S. Select Comm. on Intelligence to Hon. William P. Barr, 
Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of Justice (Apr. 19, 2019).
    \27\Id. at 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On April 25, 2019, the Committee noticed a hearing for May 
2, 2019, entitled ``Oversight of the U.S. Department of 
Justice: Report by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III on 
the Investigation Into Russian Interference in the 2016 
Presidential Election; and Related Matters'' with the Attorney 
General as the sole witness.\28\ On April 29, 2019, the 
Democratic leadership convened a meeting in the Speaker's 
office that included the Department and the FBI.\29\ On May 1, 
2019, Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs 
Stephen E. Boyd (the ``Assistant Attorney General'') wrote the 
Chairman explaining the extraordinary steps taken by the 
Department to accommodate the Committee's demands for the full 
Report, the underlying materials, and the Special Counsel's 
investigative files.\30\ Yet, the Department did not close the 
door on negotiations.\31\ Also on May 1, 2019, the Committee 
held a business meeting to authorize staff questioning of the 
Attorney General at the May 2, 2019 hearing.\32\ Outside of 
impeachment proceedings, staff has not asked questions of 
witnesses before the Committee.\33\ Department staff informally 
conveyed to the Committee staff that the Attorney General would 
not appear if the Chairman insisted on allowing unprecedented 
staff questioning of a cabinet official.\34\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \28\Email from Committee Clerk to Members, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary (Apr. 25, 2019 at 2:19 p.m.).
    \29\E-mail from H. Comm. on the Judiciary Majority staff, to H. 
Comm. on the Judiciary Minority Staff (May 3, 2019, 12:55 p.m.).
    \30\Letter from Stephen E. Boyd, Ass't Attorney General, U.S. Dep't 
of Justice, to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman; H. Comm. on the Judiciary 
(May 1, 2019).
    \31\Id. at 4.
    \32\Business Meeting, H. Comm. On the Jud., Motion to permit 
additional hour of questioning, equally divided between the Majority 
and Minority, by either Members or Committee staff . . . , May 1, 2019 
available at https://judiciary.house.gov/legislation/markups/motion-
permit- additional-hour-questioning-equally-divided between-majority-
and (last visited May 7, 2019).
    \33\See supra, note 30.
    \34\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On May 3, 2019, the Chairman responded to the Assistant 
Attorney General's May 1, 2019, letter. This response gave the 
Department a deadline of May 6, 219--just one business day--to 
respond. The letter did not articulate a legislative purpose 
for demanding information related to the Special Counsel's 
work. Also, on May 3, 2019, majority staff informed minority 
staff that a contempt resolution markup would be noticed on May 
6, 2019--despite having sent a letter to the Department that 
morning and not yet having heard back from the Department on a 
response.\35\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \35\Phone call between Majority Staff and Minority Staff, May 3, 
2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On May 6, 2019, the Committee noticed a business meeting of 
the ``Committee Report for Resolution Recommending that the 
House of Representatives Find William P. Barr, Attorney 
General, U.S. Department of Justice, in Contempt of Congress 
for Refusal to Comply with a Subpoena Duly Issued by the 
Committee on the Judiciary.''\36\ Also, on May 6, 2019, the 
Assistant Attorney General responded to the Chairman's letter 
from May 3, 2019.\37\ The Assistant Attorney General wrote: 
``we emphasize the Department of Justice's (Department) 
continued willingness to engage in good faith with the 
Committee on these issues consistent with its obligation under 
the law'' and he invited Committee staff to the Department on 
May 8, 2019, ``to negotiate an accommodation that meets the 
legitimate interests of each of our coequal branches of 
government.''\38\ The Department noted that ``to make the 
meeting productive'' the Chairman should view the less-redacted 
version of the report in camera in advance.\39\ The Chairman 
did not read that version of the Report.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \36\Email from Committee Clerk to Members, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary (May 6, 2019, 9:44 a.m.).
    \37\Letter from Stephen E. Boyd, Ass't Attorney General, U.S. Dep't 
of Justice, to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary 
(May 6, 2019).
    \38\Id.
    \39\Id. at 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On May 7, 2019, at 1:00 p.m., Department staff, including 
the Assistant Attorney General, came to Capitol Hill to meet 
with Committee staff to discuss a path forward. The Assistant 
Attorney General said the Department was willing to ease 
restrictions on the existing offer.\40\ Specifically, the 
Department offered the following: (1) to allow an additional 
staffer for each Member currently permitted to view the Report 
to be granted access; (2) Members and staff permitted to view 
the Report could take their notes with them after viewing the 
Report; (3) Members permitted to view the Report could discuss 
amongst themselves the lesser redacted version; and (4) the 
Department offered to bring the lesser redacted version to 
Capitol Hill to facilitate the review process.\41\ This offer 
was contingent upon the Committee postponing the vote on 
holding the Attorney General in contempt.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \40\Meeting between Majority Staff H. Judiciary Comm., Minority 
Staff H. Comm. on the Judiciary, & Staff of the U.S. Dep't of Justice, 
May 7, 2019, 1:00 p.m. notes on file with the H. Judiciary Comm.
    \41\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After the Department made this offer, the Chairman's staff 
responded favorably, and additional potential accommodations 
were discussed. The Department stated they would be happy to 
continue discussions the following week, and the parties then 
discussed memorializing the agreement.
    At some point later in the afternoon and into the evening, 
the Chairman decided to press forward with his hastily 
concocted contempt proceeding in the Committee. Further, the 
Chairman placed additional demands on the Department, demanding 
access to the lesser-redacted version of the Report not only 
for all Judiciary Committee Members, but also to all Members of 
the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. This new 
eleventh-hour demand was the first time the Chairman had asked 
for this, moving the goalposts further away from the 
Department's accommodations.
    On May 7, 2019, at approximately 10:00 p.m., after 
outlining their accommodations in a letter, the Department 
expressed consternation at the Committee for ``escalating its 
unmeasurable demands and scheduling a committee vote . . . 
[for] contempt of Congress.''\42\ The Assistant Attorney 
General warned the President may be forced to invoke executive 
privilege due to the nature and volume of the documents 
demanded by the subpoena. He made one last entreaty to the 
Chairman to hold off on proceeding with a vote on contempt.\43\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \42\Letter from Hon. Stephen E. Boyd, Ass't Attorney General, U.S. 
Dep't of Justice, to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary (May 7, 2019).
    \43\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On May 8, 2019, the Assistant Attorney General sent the 
Chairman a letter expressing disappointment that the Chairman 
rejected the ``Department of Justice's request to delay the 
vote of the Committee on the Judiciary on a contempt finding 
against the Attorney General this morning.''\44\ The Assistant 
Attorney General stated that in taking this significant step, 
the Chairman ``terminated our ongoing negotiations and 
abandoned the accommodation process with respect to your 
[Chairman Nadler's] April 18, 2019, subpoena of confidential 
Department of Justice materials related to the investigation 
conducted by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III.''\45\ The 
Assistant Attorney General concluded by advising the Chairman 
that the ``President has asserted executive privilege over the 
entirety of the subpoenaed materials.''\46\ He called this a 
protective assertion in the vein of a 1996 Office of Legal 
Counsel opinion under Attorney General Janet Reno.\47\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \44\Letter from Hon. Stephen E. Boyd, Ass't Attorney General, U.S. 
Dep't of Justice, to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary (May 8, 2019).
    \45\Id.
    \46\Id.
    \47\Id. (citing Protective Assertion of Executive Privilege 
Regarding White House Counsel's Office Documents, 20 Op. O.L.C. I 
(1996) (opinion of Attorney General Janet Reno)).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 III. Summary of Special Counsel Regulations, Investigation, and Report

    This Committee has either failed to appreciate or 
endeavored to obfuscate what was required by the Special 
Counsel, the Attorney General, and the legislature itself 
relative to the Special Counsel's investigation and any 
resulting work product.
    Pursuant to 28 C.F.R. Sec. 600, the Special Counsel 
functions as a constituent office of the Department. Incumbent 
upon the Special Counsel is the responsibility to exercise 
``the full power and independent authority to exercise all 
investigative and prosecutorial functions of any United States 
Attorney.''\48\ The Special Counsel is required to provide the 
Attorney General two categories of notice or documentation: (i) 
notification ``of events in the course of [the Special 
Counsel's] investigation with respect to Urgent Report[]'', and 
(ii) a confidential report, to be delivered after the 
conclusion of the Special Counsel's work, ``explaining the 
prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special 
Counsel.''\49\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \48\28 C.F.R. Sec. 600.7.
    \49\28 C.F.R. Sec. 600.8.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Attorney General is required to provide notification to 
the Judiciary Committees' chairmen and ranking members with an 
explanation for each action in the following three situations: 
(i) the appointment of a Special Counsel, (ii) the removal of a 
Special Counsel, and (iii) ``upon conclusion of the Special 
Counsels [sic] investigation, including, to the extent 
consistent with applicable law, a description and explanation 
of instances (if any) in which the Attorney General concluded 
that a proposed action by a Special Counsel was so 
inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental 
practices that it should not be pursued.''\50\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \50\28 C.F.R. Sec. 600.9(a)(l)-(3).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, the regulations give the Attorney General 
discretion to provide to the public the aforementioned repots 
if the Attorney General determines such a release ``would be in 
the public interest, to the extent that release would comply 
with applicable legal restrictions.''\51\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \51\28 C.F.R. Sec. 600.9(c). (emphasis added)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Special Counsel was appointed by the Acting Attorney 
General on May 17, 2017.\52\ He provided his confidential 
report to the Attorney General on March 22, 2019 pursuant to 28 
C.F.R. Sec. 600.8. That same day, pursuant to 28 C.F.R. 
Sec. 600.9(a)(3), the Attorney General provided to Congress 
notice that the Special Counsel had concluded his investigation 
and provided the Attorney General with a confidential 
report.\53\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \52\See Order No. 3915-2017 by Acting Attorney General Rod J. 
Rosenstein.
    \53\Letter to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary; Hon. Lindsey Graham, Chairman, S. Comm. on the Judiciary; 
Hon. Doug Collins, Ranking Member, H. Comm. on the Judiciary; Hon. 
Dianne Feinstein, Ranking Member, S. Comm. on the Judiciary, from 
William Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of Justice (Mar. 22, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    By providing that notice, the Attorney General fulfilled 
his obligations under the regulations governing the Special 
Counsel. Any action by the Attorney General subsequent to March 
22, 2019 has been  the discretion of the Attorney 
General under 28 C.F.R. Sec. 600.9(c).
    The decisions to provide the conclusions of the Report to 
Congress, to release the Report to the public and to Congress, 
and to testify before Congress have been made at the discretion 
of the Attorney General. But, in keeping with the Special 
Counsel regulation, the Attorney General is not permitted to 
release information unless the release ``would comply with 
applicable legal restrictions.''\54\ The Committee's demand to 
release information subject to grand jury secrecy is a demand 
for the Attorney General to violate the law.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \54\28 C.F.R. Sec. 600.9(c).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

  IV. Contempt of Congress is Not Appropriate Under the Circumstances

    The threat to hold the Attorney General in contempt of 
Congress for his refusal to violate the law is unprecedented. 
The following sections explain why holding the Attorney General 
in contempt is premature, hasty, and without legal basis.

     A. BY THE CHAIRMAN'S OWN ADMISSION, THE SUBPOENA IS OVERBROAD

    At the Committee business meeting to discuss the contempt 
citation, Chairman Nadler acknowledged a difference between the 
intent of the subpoena and the language in the actual subpoena 
itself. Amidst a discussion about grand jury (``6(e)'') 
material--which would require the Attorney General to break the 
law in order to produce to the Committee--the Chairman stated:

          The reason that was in the subpoena was to increase 
        our clout in court in getting the 6(e) material, 
        hopefully with the Attorney General's support, but it 
        is in no way meant to force him to give that 
        support.\55\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \55\Business Meeting of the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, Committee 
Report for Resolution Recommending that the House of Representatives 
Find William P. Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of Justice, in 
Contempt of Congress for Refusal to Comply with a Subpoena Duly Issued 
by the Committee on the Judiciary, ll6th Cong., 1st Session, May 8, 
2019 at 175 [hereinafter May 8 Committee Business Meeting].

This astonishing admission strikes at the heart of the matter: 
the Chairman is not interested in obtaining documents through 
the accommodations process but rather positioning himself for 
litigation.
    Further, after acknowledging it was not the Chairman's 
intent to include this grand jury material, he stated:

          No, we are not going to issue a new subpoena. We have 
        no intention and never had any intention of enforcing--
        of trying to force the Attorney General or anyone else 
        to give us 6(e) material without going to court.\56\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \56\Id.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Chairman also stated:

        . . . it has never been our intention, as we have 
        stated before, to ask the Attorney General to violate 
        the law. We have always intended and we have made it 
        very clear that we wanted him to come to court with us 
        to ask for an exemption to Rule 6(e).\57\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \57\Id. at 115.

These statement indicates the Chairman's goal all along was to 
go to court and not engage in the accommodations process. If 
the Chairman believed the material could not be obtained absent 
going to court, he could have carved out language to that 
effect in the subpoena or an accompanying cover letter. He did 
not do this. Instead, he expects the Attorney General to go to 
court seeking this material--something the Chairman has 
provided no precedent for--and moved to hold him in contempt in 
part because the Attorney General did not do this.
    The Chairman also had a chance to issue a subpoena 
specifically excluding responsive documents implicating grand 
jury material. Such a subpoena would have obviated the fight 
over 6(e) material the Committee now finds itself in. On April 
3, 2019, the Committee held a business meeting to consider a 
resolution authorizing the Chairman to issue the subpoena. At 
that business meeting, Mr. Buck offered an amendment stating in 
full:

          This Resolution shall not be construed as authorizing 
        the Chairman to issue a subpoena for the production of 
        information where such production would violate Rule 
        6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.\58\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \58\Markup of Resolution authorizing issuance of subpoena, H. Comm. 
on the Judiciary, 116th Cong., 1st Session, Apr. 3, 2019, Amendment--
Buck 2, available at: https:/docs.house.gov/Committee/Calendar/
ByEvent.aspx?EventlD=109260.

The Chairman voted against the amendment, which was defeated by 
a vote of 24-16.
    Additionally, the Ranking Member noted the Chairman's 
intentions are meaningless when contrasted with the specific 
language of the subpoena. The vote on the amendment in the 
April 3, 2019 business meeting was an opportunity for the 
Chairman to vote on his intent. The Ranking Member stated:

          We vote on words on paper, not intent. We vote on 
        words on paper, and what words on paper say matter, and 
        it may intend that we ask for this. It may intend we 
        don't want to do it, but that is not what we vote on in 
        this Congress.\59\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \59\May 8 Committee Business Meeting at 145.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     B. THE COMMITTEE IS MOVING AT UNPRECEDENTED SPEED, AND BY THE 
  CHAIRMAN'S OWN ADMISSION THE ACCOMMODATIONS PROCESS HAS YET TO TAKE 
                                 PLACE

    The speed at which the majority has moved from issuing a 
subpoena to voting on contempt is unprecedented and highlights 
the unwillingness of the Committee to engage meaningfully with 
the Department on reasonable accommodations. The extraordinary 
nature of the Committee's actions is highlighted by comparing 
the Committee's process here to the prior instances where 
Congress held an executive branch official in contempt for 
failing to comply with a congressional subpoena.
    Here, the Attorney General received the Report on March 22, 
2019.\60\ Three days later, on March 25, the Chairman joined a 
letter with other Democratic leaders in the House requesting 
from the Attorney General an unredacted copy of the Report.\61\ 
The Attorney General subsequently released a redacted version 
of the Report to Congress and the public on April 18. The 
Chairman served a subpoena for the unredacted Report on the 
Attorney General the next day on April 19.\62\ The subpoena set 
May 1, 2019 as the response deadline--less than the two weeks 
normally afforded recipients of congressional subpoenas.\63\ 
After declining multiple accommodations from the 
Department,\64\ the Committee scheduled a May 8, 2019 business 
meeting to consider a contempt citation--a mere 19 days after 
the subpoena was issued and 44 days after the Chairman first 
requested an unredacted copy of the Report.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \60\Letter to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary; Hon. Lindsey Graham, Chairman, S. Comm. on the Judiciary; 
Hon. Doug Collins, Ranking Member, H. Comm. on the Judiciary; Hon. 
Dianne Feinstein, Ranking Member, S. Comm. on the Judiciary, from 
William P. Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of Justice, (March 22, 
2019).
    \61\Letter to Hon. William P. Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of 
Justice from Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. On the Judiciary, 
et al. (March 25, 2019).
    \62\Apr. 19, 20 19, Subpoena.
    \63\Id.
    \64\See, e.g., Letter from Stephen E. Boyd, Ass't Attorney General, 
U.S. Dep't of Justice, to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. On 
the Judiciary (May 6, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    By comparison, on June 22, 2012, the House Committee on 
Oversight and Government Reform voted to cite then-Attorney 
General Eric Holder for contempt of Congress for failing to 
comply with a subpoena.\65\ That was 255 days after the 
subpoena was issued, and 464 days after the first request to 
the Department for information.\66\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \65\See H. Rep. NO. 11 2-546, 112th Cong. (2012), available at 
https://www.congress.gov/112/crpt/hrpt546/CRPT-112hrpt546.pdf.
    \66\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On July 25, 2007, the Committee voted to cite former White 
House Counsel Harriet Miers for contempt of Congress for 
failing to comply with a subpoena.\67\ That was 42 days after 
the subpoena was issued and 138 days after the first request 
for information.\68\ This table provides a visual comparison.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \67\See H. REP. NO. 110-423, 110th Cong. (2007), available at 
https://www.congress.gov/110/crpt/hrpt423/CRPT-110hrpt423.pdf.
    \68\Id. The full house subsequently voted to issue the contempt 
citation on February 14, 2008, 246 days after the subpoena was issued 
and 342 days after the first request for information. See Philip 
Shenon, ``House Votes to Issue Contempt Citations,'' NY TIMES, Feb. 15, 
2008 available at https://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/15/ washington/
15contempt.html?hp.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     First Request      Subpoena until
                                    until Contempt         Contempt
------------------------------------------------------------------------
William Barr....................  44 days...........  19 days
Eric Holder.....................  464 days..........  255 days
Harriet Miers...................  138 days..........  42 days
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The majority's actions this Congress, in voting to cite the 
Attorney General for contempt of Congress 19 days after issuing 
a subpoena, is unprecedented and further calls into question 
the sincerity of the majority's demands.
    Perhaps even more extraordinary than the speed with which 
this Committee has moved to hold the Attorney General in 
contempt is the Chairman's own admission that the 
accommodations process has yet to take place. At the Committee 
business meeting to consider the contempt citation, he stated:

          The subpoena is written as the beginning of a 
        dialogue process, as with any other process to talk to 
        the attorney general and DOJ and ultimately to go to 
        court, but it's designed to be the foundation of a 
        dialogue and not designed to force our hand.\69\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \69\May 8 Committee Business Meeting.

In other words, the dialogue the Chairman claims to have had 
prior to the issuance of the subpoena is irrelevant and moot; 
it was not until the subpoena was issued did the Chairman 
expect to begin a dialogue with the Department. Moreover, while 
the subpoena may not have been designed to ``force'' the 
Chairman's hand, by rushing to contempt in only 19 days after 
the subpoena's issuance--and only one week after the return 
date on the subpoena--the Committee is trying to force the 
Department's hand.
    The Department has acknowledged the Committee demanded 
production of ``millions of pages of classified and 
unclassified documents, bearing upon more than two dozen 
criminal cases and investigations, many of which are 
ongoing.''\70\ Such a demand in a compressed timeframe is 
simply impossible for the Department to meet. The Chairman 
knows this, but nevertheless forged ahead with a contempt 
citation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \70\Letter from Hon. Stephen Boyd, Asst. Attorney General, U.S. 
Dep't of Justice, to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, May 7, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In making the contrast to the contempt process with 
Attorney General Holder, one Member of the Committee Majority 
stated the purpose of moving to contempt so quickly was so that 
the President would not receive assistance during his re-
election campaign. He stated:

          Yes, we simply do not have 400 days to wait before 
        making sure that we are protected in the 2020 election. 
        We know that in 2016, the Russians interfered with our 
        election so that they could help Donald Trump get 
        elected. Donald Trump will stand for reelection again 
        in a very short period of time, and we don't have 400 
        days to wait to determine whether or not we are in 
        shape to withstand any additional attempts for the 
        Russians to try to interfere to help Trump get 
        reelected.\71\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \71\May 8 Committee Business Meeting at 148.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

  C. THE CHAIRMAN'S STATED RATIONALE FOR NEEDING THE REPORT IS LACKING

    As a rationale for demanding the unredacted Report, the 
Chairman's contempt citation notes the Committee is ``currently 
engaged in an investigation into alleged obstruction of 
justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by 
President Donald Trump, his associates, and members of his 
Administration.'' This ``investigation'' began on March 4, 
2019, when the Chairman issued document requests to 81 
individuals and organizations. The Attorney General was not one 
of the 81 recipients.
    Just over half of those recipients (52) responded to the 
Chairman, and far fewer (23) provided documents to the 
Committee. It is unclear if any documents obtained by the 
Committee are ``new'' documents, i.e., were not already 
submitted to other congressional committees or the Special 
Counsel's Office.
    It is also unclear if this ``investigation'' is still 
ongoing. Since the March 4 launch, the Committee has not taken 
any witness testimony. The Chairman has not sent a single 
follow-up letter to any of the 81 recipients either requesting 
additional information or full compliance with the original 
request. The only subsequent Committee activity in this 
``investigation'' was the authorization of subpoenas for five 
individuals who previously worked in the White House--all who 
responded in a timely manner--and the issuance of a subpoena to 
Don McGahn after the public release of the Mueller Report.\72\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \72\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The lack of activity surrounding the Chairman's 
``investigation''--and the specific targeting of White House 
personnel with subpoenas--makes clear the Chairman does not in 
fact intend to investigate ``alleged obstruction of justice, 
public corruption, and other abuses of power.''\73\ Rather, the 
Chairman intends to specifically target the President and is 
using his dormant investigation as an excuse to claim a 
legitimate purpose for demanding the unredacted Mueller Report.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \73\See supra, note 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Chairman's contempt citation also states the 
``substance of even the redacted Report expressly affirmed 
Congress' independent authority to conduct its own 
investigation pursuant to its legislative, oversight, and other 
constitutional prerogatives.''\74\ This statement does not 
contain a citation, and simply stating it does not make it so. 
To the contrary, as discussed in the Ranking Member's April 22, 
2019 letter to the Chairman, the Mueller Report does not 
expressly affirm Congress' independent authority to 
investigate.\75\ Rather, the misunderstood section in the 
Mueller Report summarizes an esoteric legal argument about 
Congress' authority generally to legislate regarding 
obstruction of justice laws.\76\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \74\See supra, note 2.
    \75\Letter from Hon. Doug Collins, Ranking Member, H. Comm. On the 
Judiciary, to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 
April 22, 2019, available at: https://gallery.mailchimp.com/
0275399506e2bdd8fe2012b77/files/a90397dc-8c16-425d-9cea-9e92ac6a9e7d/
04.22.19\Nadler\DAC.pdf?utm\source=Collins+Judiciary+Press+List&utm\camp
aign=28b1003f7c-EMAIL\CAMPAIGN\2019\04\21\11 
\49&utm\medium=email&utm\term=0\ff92df788e-28b1003f7c-168924225 (last 
visited May 7, 2019).
    \76\Id. at 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Furthermore, the Chairman has also failed to demonstrate an 
overarching need for either the full Mueller Report or its 
underlying materials.\77\ Many of the underlying materials can 
be obtained via other sources through the Chairman's 
``investigation'' he began on March 4. The Committee can 
interview many of the same witnesses interviewed by the Special 
Counsel's Office, and the Committee can ask for many of the 
same documents produced voluntarily to the Special Counsel's 
Office. To wit, the Committee has already authorized a subpoena 
for Annie Donaldson, whose notes the Special Counsel's Office 
relied on heavily in writing the Mueller Report, though the 
subpoena has yet to be issued.\78\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \77\See supra, note 2.
    \78\Business Meeting, H. Comm. On the Jud., Resolution authorizing 
issuance of subpoenas, April 3, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Chairman's contempt citation attempts to describe the 
Committee's need for the full Report to ``require[] the most 
complete possible understanding of Russia's influence and 
hacking operations'' to consider possible future legislation. 
Yet, it is this exact material, ``describing the structure and 
actions taken by the IRA,'' that the Department offered the 
Chairman to review in camera. The Chairman has refused to do 
so, deliberately depriving himself access to material he claims 
he needs to make determinations about future legislation.\79\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \79\See supra, note 20.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Moreover, the Chairman's public comments regarding the need 
for the full Mueller Report are in stark contrast to the 
contempt citation's claim the Committee needs the report for 
legislative purposes. For example, on April 7, 2019, the 
Chairman said ``Congress has a right to the entire report with 
no redactions whatsoever so we can see what's there [ . . . ] 
We're entitled to see it because Congress represents the 
nation. And Congress has to take action on any of it. So we're 
entitled to see all of it.''\80\ On April 19, 2019, the 
Chairman said, in a statement, ``My committee needs and is 
entitled to the full version of the report and the underlying 
evidence consistent with past practice [ . . . ] It now falls 
to Congress to determine the full scope of that alleged 
misconduct and to decide what steps we must take going 
forward.''\81\ These public comments do not support a 
consistent need for the full report as outlined in the contempt 
citation and give rise to questions as to whether the Chairman 
is simply playing politics or whether there is a true need for 
full compliance with the subpoena.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \80\CBS News.
    \81\Politico. Nadler Subpoenas DOJ for Full Version of the Mueller 
Report (April 19, 2019), available at https://www.politico.com/story/
2019/04/19/nadler-subpoena-full-mueller-report-1282969 (last accessed 
May 7, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 D. THE COMMITTEE'S SUBPOENA REQUIRES THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO VIOLATE 
                              FEDERAL LAW

    The underlying quandary foisted upon the Attorney General 
by the majority of this Committee and the root of the 
disagreement between the Attorney General and the majority is 
that by providing the information the subpoena demands, the 
Attorney General would be violating federal law. To demand a 
version of the Report without grand jury redactions is nothing 
less than a directive from Congress to the Attorney General to 
break the law.
    Under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, material 
collected or retained in connection with a grand jury 
proceeding must remain secret.\82\ There are several disclosure 
exceptions (with subcategories for some of the exceptions).\83\ 
Nothing in this Committee's recitation of the facts meets any 
of the exceptions provided in the rule, read even with the most 
expansive interpretation. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 
District of Columbia Circuit recently held the exceptions to 
the general rule of secrecy are explicit and narrow; there is 
no implied exception for a congressional inquiry.\84\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \82\FRCP Rule 6(e)(2).
    \83\FRCP Rule 6(e)(3).
    \84\See McKeever v. Barr, 920 F.3d 842, 844 (D.C. Cir. 2019) 
(``Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e) `makes quite clear that 
disclosure of matters occurring before the grand jury is the exception 
and not the rule' and `sets forth in precise terms to whom, under what 
circumstances and on what conditions grand jury information may be 
disclosed.''') (Internal citations omitted.); see also Andrus v. Glover 
Constr. Co., 446 U.S. 608 616-18 (1980) (``Where Congress explicitly 
enumerates certain exceptions to a general prohibition, additional 
exceptions are not to be implied, in the absence of evidence of a 
contrary legislative intent.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure permit the 
disclosure of certain grand jury materials--as one of the 
limited exceptions to the general secrecy directive inherent to 
grand jury materials--``preliminarily to or in connection with 
a judicial proceeding.''\85\ Congressional investigations do 
not fit within this exception.\86\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \85\FRCP 6(e)(3)(E)(1).
    \86\E.g., In re Grand Jury Investigation of Uranium Indus., No. 78-
0173, 1979 WL 1661, at *1 (D.D.C. Aug. 16, 1979) (holding that a 
congressional investigation was not ``preliminary to or in connection 
with a judicial proceeding.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The inquiry into the impeachment of a president has been 
considered preliminary to a judicial proceeding.\87\ Any other 
action proposed or taken by the majority of this Committee does 
not fall under the judicial proceeding exception (or any other 
exception under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 6(e) 
that would grant it access to grand jury material).\88\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \87\See, e.g., United States Court of Appeals for the District of 
Columbia Circuit, Division No. 94-1, Order in Consideration of the Ex 
Parte Motion for Approval of Disclosure of Matters Occurring Before a 
Grand Jury, July 7, 1998.
    \88\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 E. THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HAS BEEN EXTRAORDINARILY TRANSPARENT. IN 
  CONTRAST, THE CHAIRMAN REFUSED THE DEPARTMENT'S ACCOMMODATIONS AND 
     NEGOTIATIONS AND IS PLOWING FORWARD WITH CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS.

    On April 18, 2019, the Chairman signed a subpoena duces 
tecum compelling the Attorney General to produce an unredacted 
version of the Mueller Report as well as all underlying 
documents many of which are likely covered by both common law 
and constitutional privileges.\89\ On April 18, 2019, the 
Assistant Attorney General sent the Chairman a letter offering 
for certain Members of Congress and one staff person to review 
in camera an unredacted version, save information used during 
grand jury proceedings.\90\ The Chairman refused the offer, and 
instead, on April 19, 2019, served the subpoena to the Attorney 
General.\91\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \89\H. Comm. on the Judiciary Subpoena Hon. William P. Barr, 
Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of Justice, Apr. 19, 2019, at 2 
[hereinafter Apr. 19, 2019, Subpoena].
    \90\Letter to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary; Hon. Lindsey Graham, Chairman, S. Comm. on the Judiciary; 
Hon. Doug Collins, Ranking Member, H. Comm. on the Judiciary; Hon. 
Dianne Feinstein, Ranking Member, S. Comm. on the Judiciary, from 
Stephen E. Boyd, Ass't Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of Justice, (Apr. 
18, 2019).
    \91\Apr. 19, 2019, Subpoena.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On May 1, 2019, the Assistant Attorney General wrote the 
Chairman providing a litany of reasons for not complying with 
the subpoena.\92\ The Assistant Attorney General said 
compliance with the subpoena was problematic because the 
Attorney General had already gone to great lengths to be 
transparent by releasing a nearly unredacted version of the 
report and offering to testify before the Committee on May 2, 
2019.\93\ In addition, ``these requests [referring to the 
demands in the subpoena] would pose a fundamental threat to the 
confidentiality of law enforcement files and the Department's 
commitment to keep law enforcement investigations free of 
political interference.''\94\ Finally, the Committee's subpoena 
calls for the disclosure of grand jury information, which is 
prohibited by law.\95\ The Assistant Attorney General wrote:

    \92\Letter from Stephen E. Boyd, Ass't Attorney General, U.S. Dep't 
of Justice, to Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the Judiciary 
(May 1, 2019).
    \93\Id. at 1.
    \94\Id. at 2.
    \95\Id. at 4.

          Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 
        provides that matters occurring before a grand jury 
        must be kept secret, except in certain specifically 
        enumerated circumstances. Rule 6(e) contains no 
        exception that would permit the Department to provide 
        grand-jury information to the Committee in connection 
        with its oversight role. Therefore, the Department may 
        not provide the grand-jury information that the 
        subpoena requests. The Department has, however, 
        provided you and the Ranking Member (as well as other 
        members of leadership in the House and Senate) with 
        access to a version of the report that redacts only the 
        grand-jury information that cannot be disclosed under 
        Rule 6(e).\96\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \96\Id. at 4 (internal citations to case law omitted).

Compliance with the Committee's subpoena is contrary to law and 
the Chairman is not acting in good faith by declining in camera 
review of the virtually unredacted Report.
    The May 1, 2019, letter from the Assistant Attorney General 
offered to continue the dialogue with the Chairman and his 
staff.\97\ Specifically, the Assistant Attorney General wrote:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \97\Id. at 4.

          In reaching this conclusion, we do not close the door 
        on engaging with the Committee about potential further 
        accommodations in response to a properly focused and 
        narrowed inquiry that is supported by a legitimate 
        legislative purpose.\98\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \98\Id. at 4.

The Chairman did not communicate with the Department in writing 
after issuing the Nadler subpoena. No negotiations occurred in 
writing between service of the April 19, 2019 subpoena and May 
3, 2019, when the Chairman sent a letter to the Attorney 
General threatening him with contempt of Congress.\99\ The 
Chairman wrote: ``But if the Department persists in its 
baseless refusal to comply with a validly issued subpoena, the 
Committee will move to contempt proceedings and seek further 
legal recourse.''\100\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \99\Letter from Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chairman, H. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, to Hon. William P. Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Dep't of 
Justice (May 3, 2019) [hereinafter the May 3, 2019 Nadler Letter].
    \100\Id. at 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On April 29, 2019, a meeting occurred in the Speaker's 
Office involving House Majority leadership, the Department, and 
the FBI.\101\ Finally, Committee staff claims to be in contact 
with the Department's Office of Legislative Affairs ``in 
writing, by telephone, and in person'' almost every day and 
sometimes multiple times a day.\102\ We have no information to 
substantiate these claims, and the Chairman's May 3, 2019, 
letter contains no citations to, or evidence of, these 
purported communications.\103\ Similarly, the contempt citation 
fails to cite any meaningful negotiations and accommodations 
engaged in by the Chairman.\104\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \101\E-mail from H. Comm. on the Judiciary Majority Staff, to H. 
Comm. on the Judiciary Minority Staff (May 3, 2019, 12:55 p.m.).
    \102\Id.
    \103\May 3, 2019 Nadler Letter.
    \104\See Resolution Recommending that the House of Representatives 
Find William P. Barr, Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, in 
Contempt of Congress for Refusal to Comply with a Subpoena Duly Issued 
by the Committee on the Judiciary, May 8, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Accordingly, any impasse in negotiations regarding the 
Mueller Report between the Committee and the Department can be 
attributed solely to the Committee. The Department has made 
multiple accommodations to the Committee, but the Committee has 
not budged from its demand of production of the full report and 
all associated underlying documents.
    The Chairman's contempt citation also references 
communications between the Chairman and the Department dating 
back to February 2019, more than a month before the Attorney 
General received the Mueller Report. These communications are 
irrelevant to the negotiations between the Committee and the 
Department because the Committee was asking for material that 
the Attorney General did not yet have in his possession. 
Indeed, neither the Attorney General nor the Committee knew 
what information the Report would contain. For example, the 
Report could have been a single page listing prosecution and 
declination decisions, which would have been sufficient for the 
Special Counsel to meet his regulatory obligations. The 
Attorney General did not receive the Mueller Report until March 
22, 2019. On March 25--still without having seen the Report or 
knowing its length or contents--the Chairman, for the first 
time, formally requested the Report once it was in the Attorney 
General's possession. Therefore, communications prior to March 
25 are irrelevant to the current negotiations.

    F. CONTEMPT IS A RARE AND EXTREME REMEDY. GIVEN THE COMMITTEE'S 
 REJECTION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S EFFORTS AT ACCOMMODATION AND THE 
      COMMITTEE'S UNPRECEDENTED TIMEFRAME, CONTEMPT IS PREMATURE.

    Even considering prior criminal contempt of Congress 
proceedings, there has not ever been a more brazen edict by the 
legislature to the executive branch to break the laws the 
former is tasked with crafting and the latter is charged with 
enforcing. The speed at which the majority of this Committee 
has both made demands and, without hesitation, rejected any 
attempt by the Attorney General at accommodation is 
unprecedented. The majority of this Committee's continuous 
insertion of the word ``accommodation'' in every demand letter 
to the Attorney General does not eo ipso mean there has been 
any good-faith effort to negotiate with him or his staff. The 
traditional attempts at compromise, respect for separation of 
powers, and substantive exchange and negotiation have been 
abandoned by the majority of this Committee.
    We believe the Chairman threatens to undermine the 
collegiality of this Committee by holding the Attorney General 
in contempt of Congress when he has already demonstrated his 
commitment to transparency through the release of the Mueller 
Report to the public generally, his provision of a less-
redacted Report to select Members of Congress, and his offer to 
testify before the Committee. At every phase, he has been met 
with the kneejerk response by the Chairman that his overtures 
were insufficient. In the few contempt of Congress proceedings 
that have been brought against an executive agent or department 
head, there have been significantly greater efforts to 
negotiate. We believe the Chairman should not hasten to a 
contempt of Congress action simply because the Attorney General 
has not acquiesced to his every whim but, instead, has 
fulfilled his duty to enforce the laws drafted by Congress. 
Furthermore, the Attorney General has fulfilled his duty under 
the pertinent regulatory framework. The encouragement for him 
to neglect these duties--and, in fact, violate the law--is 
beneath the integrity of this body.

    G. MORE APPROPRIATE AND EFFECTIVE AVENUES EXIST TO PURSUE THIS 
                              INFORMATION

    There are alternatives to a contempt citation that provide 
more appropriate and effective means for seeking access to the 
requested information under the circumstances here. If the 
Chairman was serious about gaining access to the information 
requested in the subpoena, as opposed to simply trying to pick 
fights with the Executive Branch for the sake of headlines, it 
would pursue these alternative avenues rather than hold the 
Attorney General in contempt.
    First, Congress can amend the law to create an exception to 
Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure that would 
allow for Congress to gain access to grand jury materials. As 
described above, the current law prohibits the Attorney General 
from giving grand jury materials to Congress. The Chairman has 
not taken this step.
    Second, if the Chairman sincerely believes, despite the 
plain language of the law and D.C. Circuit precedent, Congress 
is lawfully entitled to the requested materials, the Committee 
can seek to enforce the subpoena in court by asking for a civil 
judgment declaring the Attorney General is obligated to comply 
with the subpoena.\105\ As described above, however, the 
Committee would likely lose in court because Rule 6(e) does not 
include an exception for Congress. The Committee must consider 
all litigation risks. Any litigation could result in a court 
decision that would set bad precedent for future Congresses and 
weaken Congress's power. The best course forward is to engage 
meaningfully with the Department on reasonable accommodations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \105\See Comm. on the Judiciary v. Miers, 558 F. Supp. 2d 53, 77-88 
(D.D.C. 2008); see also House Rule II(8)(b); 165 CONG. REC. H30 (daily 
ed. Jan. 3, 2019) (statement of Rep. McGovern) (``If a Committee 
determines that one or more of its duly issued subpoenas has not been 
complied with and that civil enforcement is necessary, the BLAG, 
pursuant to House Rule 11(8)(b), may authorize the House Office of 
General Counsel to initiate civil litigation on behalf of this 
Committee to enforce the Committee's subpoena(s) in federal district 
court.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Third, Congress can enact laws to create alternative 
mechanisms to enforce congressional subpoenas. For example, 
legislation was proposed during the 115th Congress to expedite 
enforcement of congressional subpoenas.\106\ That legislation, 
``Congressional Subpoena Compliance and Enforcement Act of 
2017,'' passed this Committee. We encourage the Chairman to re-
introduce that bill. However, rather than pursue a legislative 
agenda, the Chairman continues to pursue a redo of the Special 
Counsel's investigation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \106\H.R. 4010, 115th Cong. Sec. 2 (2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                             V. CONCLUSION

    Fully complying with the Committee's subpoena would require 
the Attorney General to break the law. The Department has 
offered multiple accommodations to the Chairman, but the 
Chairman has been unyielding in his demand for the full Report 
and underlying evidence. The Department has offered the 
Chairman to review the report in camera, giving the Chairman 
access to 99.9 percent of Volume II of the report and 98.5 
percent of Volume I of the report. In essence, the Chairman 
issued a subpoena for material to which he already has access 
but refuses to see.
    The Chairman has not articulated a valid legislative 
purpose for the materials demanded by the subpoena, nor has he 
shown his inability to obtain the required information from any 
other source. The two sides are not at an impasse; indeed, the 
Department has moved off its negotiating position on multiple 
occasions. The Chairman's lack of good faith in negotiating, 
impossible deadlines, and a rush to contempt, however, has 
swallowed any efforts by the Department to reach a resolution.
    For these reasons, enforcement of the subpoena and the 
contempt resolution fail constitutionally.

                                   Doug Collins, Ranking Member.
                                   Steve Chabot.
                                   Jim Jordan.
                                   Jim Sensenbrenner.
                                   Louis Gohmert.
                                   Ken Buck.
                                   John Ratcliffe.
                                   Matt Gaetz.
                                   Andy Biggs.
                                   Debbie Lesko.
                                   Ben Cline.
                                   W. Gregory Steube.
                                   Martha Roby.
                                   Mike Johnson.
                                   Tom McClintock.
                                   Guy Reschenthaler.
                                   Kelly Armstrong.