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Congress plunges into Mueller report, subpoena on way

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    Delegates, from left, U.S. Congressman Brendan Boyle, Irish Education Minister Joe McHugh, U.S. Congressman Richard Neal and US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi, cross the Irish border from Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland, at Bridgened in Co Donegal, Thursday April 18, 2019. Pelosi and other members of the U.S. delegation made the symbolic border crossing, that is the contentious Brexit border, between North and southern Ireland Thursday, as part of her four-day visit to Ireland and Northern Ireland. Niall Carson/PA via AP

Published April 19. 2019 11:24AM

WASHINGTON — It’s now up to Congress to decide what to do with special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings about President Donald Trump.

While the special counsel declined to prosecute Trump on obstruction of justice, he did not exonerate him, all but leaving the question to Congress. Mueller’s report provides fresh evidence of Trump’s interference in the Russia probe, challenging lawmakers to respond. The risks for both parties are clear if they duck the responsibility or prolong an inquiry that, rather than coming to a close, may be just beginning.

“The responsibility now falls to Congress,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which has the power to launch impeachment proceedings.

Attorney General William Barr sent Congress a redacted version of the report, blacking out several types of material, including classified information, material pertaining to ongoing investigations, and grand jury evidence.

Nadler told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Friday that he expects to issue a subpoena within “a couple of hours” for the full report, including the normally secret grand jury evidence. That would likely spark a lengthy legal and political battle over whether that material can be released.

How far lawmakers will go, though, remains unclear. Republicans are eager to push past what Trump calls the “witch hunt” that has overshadowed the party and the presidency. And while Democrats say Mueller’s findings are far more serious than initially indicated in Barr’s four-page summary, they’ve been hesitant to pursue the ultimate step, impeachment proceedings, despite pressure from the left flank of the party to begin efforts to try to remove the president from office.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, traveling Thursday on a congressional trip to Ireland, said in a joint statement with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer only that Mueller’s report revealed more than was known about the obstruction question.

“As we continue to review the report, one thing is clear: Attorney General Barr presented a conclusion that the president did not obstruct justice while Mueller’s report appears to undercut that finding,” they said.

Later, in a letter to House Democrats, Pelosi vowed: “Congress will not be silent.”

Biding their time, Democrats are putting the focus on their next investigative steps. Nadler summoned Mueller to testify and the chairman said Thursday he will be issuing subpoenas for the full report. And next week, both the House and Senate are scheduled to hear from Barr, whom Democrats accuse of distorting the report’s contents to Trump’s benefit.

But it’s unlikely that the full Mueller report or the public testimony will untangle the dilemma that Democrats face. Mueller laid out multiple episodes in which Trump directed others to influence or curtail the Russia investigation after the special counsel’s appointment in May 2017, and Trump made clear that he viewed the probe as a potential mortal blow — “the end of my presidency.”

The special counsel wrestled with what to do with his findings, unable to charge or exonerate, and sided with the department’s guideline that indicting a sitting president would impair the ability of the executive branch to function.

“We concluded that Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice,” the report said.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said the acts described in the report “whether they are criminal or not, are deeply alarming in the president of the United States. And it’s clear that special counsel Mueller wanted the Congress to consider the repercussions and the consequences.”

Schiff, the California Democrat, said, “If the special counsel, as he made clear, had found evidence exonerating the president, he would have said so. He did not. He left that issue to the Congress of the United States.”

Republicans sought to portray Democrats as unwilling to let go of the idea that Trump colluded with Russia to swing the election. “What you’re seeing is unprecedented desperation from the left,” tweeted Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a top Trump ally. “There was no collusion. It’s over.”

Other Republicans were more measured. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is one of the few members of Congress mentioned in the report, told reporters in Kentucky, “It’s too early to start commenting on portions of it.”

McConnell was among several people the report said former White House Counsel Don McGahn had reached out to on behalf of the president when Trump was trying to stop then Attorney General Jeff Sessions from recusing himself at the start of the Russia probe.

In all, the report revealed 10 areas of potential obstruction, from Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey to his attempts to thwart Mueller’s investigation. In many cases, the additional details show a president restrained only by aides and others around him.

Comments
The whole world hates Trump. Why? Did you know there's a high school history textbook that promotes an anti-Trump narrative and is laced with innuendos that his supporters and white people in general are racists?
“By The People,” by James W. Fraser is geared for Advanced Placement high school students in grades 9-12, according to its publisher's website. The book, published by textbook giant Pearson, is an updated edition and carries a 2019 copyright mark.
The history textbook is just one example of how the liberal agenda is promoted in schools. Look folks, the left controls education, media, and most of social media, and they still loose elections.
I put my trust in Jesus, and I watch the events of these days in utter amazement. What's going on? Why must Trump go?
Hey mike, nice job plagiarizing. You cut and pasted much of your post and passed it off as your own. Since we are doing that, here is what the textbook says:

Trump’s supporters saw the vote as a victory for the people who, like themselves, had been forgotten in a fast-changing America–a mostly older, often rural or suburban, and overwhelmingly white group. Clinton’s supporters feared that the election had been determined by people who were afraid of a rapidly developing ethnic diversity of the country, discomfort with their candidate’s gender, and nostalgia for an earlier time in the nation’s history. They also worried about the mental instability of the president-elect and the anger that he and his supporters brought to the nation.

Do you dispute that most of trump’s support is white? Do you dispute that many Clinton supporters think trump is crazy?

Troy to answer without stealing someone else’s writing
Hi Joe, I dispute a couple of those statements. Especially, I dispute the allegations of “mental instability...and anger brought to the nation.” At one time, that statement could have been written about a man that nearly everyone now calls the greatest President ever, Abraham Lincoln. You see how things change over time. Popular feelings now become extreme bias later on. Hillary lost...who cares that she said...”people who were afraid...”That is certainty what she thought with the “deplorable” statement. Next, we have the...”anger...brought to the nation.” Trump had people boycott his inauguration ceremony. That unkind act preceded his Presidency of course. He was hated before he became President. Fake news outlets fanned the flames of hatred. Many people, like you Joe, never would give Trump a fair chance. I bet you look with glee at every negative. You certainly overlook any positive. Every President has of course carried his race. President Obama had at least 90% of African Americans. What was wrong with that? Nothing, until you review Trump. President Trump is making inroads into the race conundrum. This scares the Democrats. Losing their stronghold irritates them. Trump has record low unemployment numbers in all minority categories:Blacks,Hispanics, Women. People notice this stuff. Cities that had Democratic leadership for 90 years realize that Trump is changing things...for the better. Trump cares. That textbook is a biased fraud that is wrong on many levels. Democrats should be ashamed of themselves for tainting young minds. You can ignore this Joe, by sticking your head in the sand as you always do. There is a tsunami of backlash over what is going on. Get ready to run away when the Trump Tide swamps you and your minions. Donald J. Trump is the Abraham Lincoln of this era. Sit back and watch! MAGA!
Now,All Clinton supporters have to worry about is incarceration as the truth is exposed as the onion skin of history reveals her as a criminal, not only caught between pages of an inaccurate book, but, caught behind bars.
You need to read it more carefully. The text isn’t saying he is mentally unstable, the text is saying his opposition saw him as unstable. That statement is indisputable. The point is mike was dishonest again
The text labeling Trump unstable is biased. That is rude and insulting and based upon subjective criteria. President Trump might not be like the author of the book, but, does that open him up to some journalists amateur hateful opinion? President Trump has many accomplishments and he passes a physical exam that indicated he is fit both mentally and physically. I wouldn’t have even put in a text book that Hillary is crooked. I say that as I would rather undergo the burden of proof of criminality on her than the burden of proof of instability in Trump.
You’re not getting it. The textbook is providing history. It is historically accurate to say trump’s opposition during the election thought he was unstable. You surely heard it over and over during the election that he was crazy or unfit to be president. Hell even Cruz said all that.
A text book should not contain liberal biased blasphemy. CNN and MSNBC and others also stated that President Trump had no way to win the election. There is a liberal hatred of President Trump that goes beyond the norm. Surely you notice that. Many people had to eat their words after the election results came in. How about that YouTube video about election night? Now, Trump is proving all of the critics wrong again. The crazy and unfit were wrong. Concerning Cruz, all is fair in love and politics. I can recall some Obama vs Clinton remarks that would curl your ears. How about Bill Clinton to Ted Kennedy, concerning Obama, “Huh, had this been 20 years ago that boy would be carrying our bags.” Comes to mind.
I don't know how to get you to understand this. Do you prefer that the history books say the opposition to trump thought he was awesome in every way? That would be inaccurate. The opposition thought he was unstable. They still do. Whether it is true or not is not the issue here.

Sorry, maybe I'm not explaining it simply enough
Come on Joe. You readily accept a text with derogatory statements about President Trump. You are biased. Of course some said offensive things about Trump, like he was “unstable.” You fully agree and want the students to agree as well. Negative insinuation should not be a part of any text. Nothing negative was stated about any other candidate. This proves the negative bias against Trump. Textbooks should only contain valuable information about anything. Trump is an international businessman worth 4+ Billion dollars. He authored, “The Art of The Deal”, which is one of the best selling books in history. He graduated from the Wharton School of Business. He had a hit reality show called “The Apprentice” on TV for 12+ years. He is a philanthropist. He owns a Boeing 757 airplane....blah, blah, blah...This is the type of stuff that should be in textbooks. You mean to tell me that being called “unstable” by critics on The View, CNN, MSNBC, and Cobert, etc is more appropriate? It was an obvious dig, whether true or not. It was a cheap shot right in sync with you, so you can’t even see how offensive it was.
Congress has full access to the Mueller Report. The only restriction is they must look at it in private. Nadler and Schiff are doing this just for show. After a $25 Million, 675 day investigation by Trump haters there was nothing. Now, we go on to tax returns and fake obstruction. Bring it on! There will be a tsunami of backlash.

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