The Slatest

Rep. Schiff Vows Democrats Will Subpoena Mueller if Report Isn’t Made Public

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks to members of the media January 17, 2019 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-C.A., speaks to members of the media at the Capitol on Jan. 17. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Adam Schiff made clear that Democrats are ready to fight back if special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report isn’t made public. Schiff, who is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Democrats would be willing to take the whole thing to court and would subpoena not only the report but also Mueller so he can testify about what he found during his investigation. “We will obviously subpoena the report. We will bring Bob Mueller in to testify before Congress. We will take it to court if necessary,” the lawmaker from California said on ABC’s This Week on Sunday. “In the end I think the [Justice] Department understands they’re going to have to make this public. I think [Attorney General William] Barr will ultimately understand that as well.”

When host George Stephanopoulos asked whether Democrats were “prepared to take the administration to court,” Schiff didn’t hesitate. “Absolutely. We are going to get to the bottom of this. We are going to share this information with the public,” Schiff said. “And if the president is serious about all his claims of exoneration, then he should welcome the publication of this report.”

There were rumors last week that the report would be delivered imminently but a Justice Department official made clear Friday that Mueller wouldn’t be delivering the report next week. “Any reports that the Special Counsel’s report will be delivered to the DOJ during the week of Feb. 28 are incorrect,” the official said. Even as the Justice Department tried to cool expectations, six House Democrats who are chairs of committees sent a letter to Barr on Friday calling on him to make Mueller’s report public. “We write to you to express, in the strongest possible terms, our expectation that the Department of Justice will release to the public the report Special Counsel Mueller submits to you — without delay and to the maximum extent permitted by law,” said the lawmakers in the letter.

Even as Schiff confidently spoke about his plans for Mueller, other appearances on the Sunday talk show circuit made pretty clear that the whole thing could turn into a political—and legal—battle. Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri told CBS’ Face the Nation that he wasn’t so sure Democrats would be able to successfully subpoena Mueller. “I don’t know that you can,” Blunt, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said. “The weight of the government here is very strong. And people need to think about that when they begin to demand. We need to know whatever you found out whether it led anywhere or not.”