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House Judiciary Chairman Issues Subpoena For Full, Unredacted Mueller Report


We're on day one after the release of the Mueller report. And this morning, we are getting a move from Democrats that we expected. The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler, has subpoenaed the Justice Department for the full Mueller report. It is, of course, nearly 500 pages, although some material was redacted. And joining us to talk about this is NPR political reporter, Tim Mak.

Hey there, Tim.

TIM MAK, BYLINE: Hey there.

GREENE: So what precisely is in the subpoena? What's Nadler want here?

MAK: So Nadler wants the full Mueller report without redactions, but he also wants the work that special counsel Robert Mueller has done over the - nearly the last two years. That includes grand jury testimony and other investigative material. And he wants it by May 1.

GREENE: That's soon. I mean, that's a quick timeline.

MAK: Well, he expects that the DOJ has this all available and ready to deliver. It's not quite clear, though, that the attorney general is willing to go down this route.

GREENE: So you mentioned grand jury testimony. That is part of what was redacted from the report, right? I mean, we saw all these photos of all the pages of the report and how much of it was blacked out or not. Can you just remind us exactly what the attorney general redacted?

MAK: Right. So the Mueller report - there is, of course, the full version. And we saw a redacted version. And that redacted version contained four sets of redactions. The Justice Department basically blacked out material that they thought might reveal national security secrets, might reveal sources and methods that affect national security. That's the first category.

The second category is grand jury material. The third category would be things that might affect ongoing investigations. As we know, the Mueller team referred a number of other issues out for continued investigation and possibly prosecution. And the fourth category is things that might infringe on the privacy of peripheral third parties.

GREENE: Wasn't there already a plan from Attorney General Barr to share some of the redacted materials with, at least, select members of Congress?

MAK: Yeah. There was a plan. The Justice Department has kind of put in place a way for key congressional leaders to access a version of the report with fewer redactions. But this would only apply to a select number of staff and key Hill leaders engaged in Justice Department oversight and intelligence and judiciary issues.

But Jerry Nadler, who's the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee who issued this subpoena today, has said, look. This is not a situation where only a select number of lawmakers can review this material. This is a situation that has a lot of consequences for legislation and oversight and Congress's constitutional responsibilities. Everyone who is in Congress should be able to see all the material.

GREENE: OK. So he set this timeline of - what? - like, less than two weeks or so. What exactly do you expect to happen next?

MAK: Well, this timeline is something that the Justice Department is going to have to consider. The Justice Department, so far, has said that it's not willing to go as far as the subpoena requests. And that means we're likely to be in some sort of legal battle.

In the interim, you know, there's going to be the time in which Attorney General Barr will need to get ready for his testimony before Congress in early May. We're going to see a lot of buildup around Robert Mueller's expected testimony, whenever that's scheduled. And there are going to be ongoing investigations by Congress into a number of issues both related to the Mueller report and related to other things that are considered oversight over the Trump administration.

GREENE: All right.

Tim Mak, NPR political reporter, thanks so much.

MAK: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

David Greene is an award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author. He is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, the most listened-to radio news program in the United States, and also of NPR's popular morning news podcast, Up First.
Tim Mak is NPR's Washington Investigative Correspondent, focused on political enterprise journalism.