(CNN) – Congressional Democratic leaders — outraged over the Trump administration’s rollout of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report — are calling on Mueller to publicly testify before Congress, renewing demands for the entire report to be released and raising concern over the president’s conduct detailed in the report.
In a move that sets up a clash between the Trump administration and Congress, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler issued a subpoena on Friday for the full report, giving the Justice Department until May 1 to comply.
“My Committee needs and is entitled to the full version of the report and the underlying evidence consistent with past practice,” Nadler said in a statement. “The redactions appear to be significant. We have so far seen none of the actual evidence that the Special Counsel developed to make this case. Even the redacted version of the report outlines serious instances of wrongdoing by President Trump and some of his closest associates. It now falls to Congress to determine the full scope of that alleged misconduct and to decide what steps we must take going forward.”
When asked at a news conference Thursday if the Mueller report would provide a “road map” should Democrats open impeachment proceedings, Nadler said it was “too early” to discuss that, but then said the special counsel “probably” wrote the report with that “intent.”
In a joint statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer similarly drew a distinction between the words of Attorney General William Barr and special counsel Robert Mueller on the question of whether the President obstructed justice.
“The differences are stark between what Attorney General Barr said on obstruction and what Special Counsel Mueller said on obstruction,” the Democratic leaders said in their statement, adding, “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.”
Pelosi and Schumer broadly criticized Barr earlier in the day on Thursday, accusing him of creating “a crisis of confidence in his independence and impartiality” and saying public testimony from Mueller himself in both the House and the Senate is “the only way to begin restoring public trust.”
The call was echoed by Nadler, who posted to Twitter a copy of a letter to Mueller requesting testimony in front of the committee “as soon as possible” and “no later than May 23, 2019.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff also announced that his committee has invited Mueller “to testify on the counterintelligence investigation.” A letter from Schiff to Mueller states that the committee will work “to secure a mutually agreeable date in May.”
During his Thursday morning news conference, Barr said he has “no objection” to Mueller testifying when asked if he would allow Mueller to testify publicly to Congress in light of the calls from Democrats.
Barr has blocked from public view portions of the report, including grand jury material, sensitive intelligence material, details about ongoing investigations, and information that harms the “privacy and reputational interests of peripheral third parties.”
Democrats have slammed what they say are orchestrated attempts by the Trump administration to control the narrative surrounding the report’s release. Prior to the report’s release, they had also threatened to subpoena the Justice Department to obtain the full report if necessary, which may lead to a contentious court battle.
The Mueller report is the result of a nearly two-year investigation into how Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help the Trump campaign and whether the President then obstructed that probe. Mueller brought criminal charges against 25 Russians who interfered in the election and six Trump associates: senior campaign officials Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, national security adviser Michael Flynn, former fixer Michael Cohen, longtime ally Roger Stone and campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.
During his news conference, Barr said the President has been right all along on whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government in interfering with the 2016 presidential election. “As he said from the beginning, there was, in fact, no collusion,” Barr said.