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Nadler reaches deal with DOJ over key Mueller report documents

The announcement comes a day before the House is set to vote on a civil contempt resolution to enforce committee subpoenas.
Image: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill on May 21, 2019.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill on May 21, 2019.Patrick Semansky / AP file

WASHINGTON — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., announced Monday that he had reached an agreement with the Department of Justice over obtaining underlying evidence from the Mueller report related to possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump.

Nadler announced the deal in a statement, saying that the DOJ “has agreed to begin complying with our committee’s subpoena by opening Robert Mueller’s most important files to us.”

“The Department will share the first of these documents with us later today," Nadler said. "All members of the Judiciary Committee — Democrats and Republicans alike — will be able to view them. These documents will allow us to perform our constitutional duties and decide how to respond to the allegations laid out against the President by the Special Counsel."

The announcement came just hours before the committee holds the first in a series of hearings on the Mueller report and a day before the House is set to vote on a civil contempt resolution seeking to enforce committee subpoenas.

Nadler said in his statement that the House would hold off on the "criminal contempt process" for now.

“We have agreed to allow the Department time to demonstrate compliance with this agreement," Nadler said. "If the Department proceeds in good faith and we are able to obtain everything that we need, then there will be no need to take further steps. If important information is held back, then we will have no choice but to enforce our subpoena in court and consider other remedies.”

Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in a statement that the department is "pleased" the panel is setting aside its criminal contempt measure, saying the DOJ "remains committed to appropriately accommodating Congress’s legitimate interests related to the Special Counsel’s Investigation and will continue to do so provided the previously voted-upon resolution does not advance.”

Nadler’s announcement indicated that the House would still vote on the resolution Tuesday to authorize the Judiciary panel to “enforce its subpoenas in federal court.”

“Some enforcement action may be necessary to obtain documents and testimony outside the scope of today’s agreement with the Department of Justice, including testimony from former White House Counsel Don McGahn,” the committee said in a news release accompanying Nadler’s statement.

Meanwhile, John Dean, who served as White House counsel to President Richard Nixon and played a key role in the Watergate hearings in the 1970s, will testify at the committee’s hearing on the Mueller report Monday at 2 p.m.

Separately, the House Intelligence Committee will hold a rare open hearing on the counterintelligence implications of the Mueller report on Wednesday, at which Stephanie Douglas and Robert Anderson, former executive assistant directors of the FBI’s national security branch, are scheduled to testify.