House Judiciary Votes to Hold Barr in Contempt
The House Judiciary committee votes to recommend that the House hold AG Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over Mueller’s unredacted report. The committee’s recommendation will now move to the full House floor for a vote.
There are numerous congressional investigations looking into Trump’s ties to Russia and Russian interference in the 2016 election. Many of these investigations began as early as 2017, and several of the investigations on the House side intensified after Democrats won control of the House in the 2018 midterm elections. Many hearings, especially those held by the House Intelligence Committee, are held behind closed doors. However, a select number of hearings have been held publicly, which has boosted public awareness about Mueller’s findings.
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI)
The House Intelligence Committee is currently chaired by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA 28th District). The ranking minority member is Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA 22nd District). In 2017, while Nunes was the ranking majority member, he temporarily recused himself from the investigation while being investigated by the House Ethics Committee for allegedly disclosing classified information to the public. Nunes was later cleared of these charges. In 2018 the Republican majority members released a report dismissing accusations of collusion between the Trump administration and Russia, effectively closing the investigation. Following the 2018 midterm elections, however, the investigation was resumed by the Democratic majority. The committee has interviewed a number of officials with ties to the Trump campaign and administration behind closed doors, including close Trump associate Roger Stone, Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and former Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser Carter Page. They have also interviewed former FBI Director James Comey and former CIA director John Brennan, who stated during his interview that the Russians “brazenly interfered” in the 2016 elections. Under Democratic leadership, the committee has been increasing its efforts to review Trump’s financial information, even hiring a former federal prosecutor who specializes in Russian organized crime and money laundering. On June 12th, 2019, the committee held a public hearing with FBI officials on counterintelligence issues raised by the Mueller Report.
House Judiciary Committee
The House Judiciary Committee is currently chaired by Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY 10th District). The ranking minority member is Representative Doug Collins (R-GA 9th District). In June 2019, the committee announced that it would hold a series of hearings related to the findings laid out in the Mueller Report. On June 19th, the committee held a private interview with former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks in which Hicks refused to answer any questions related to her time working in the White House. On June 25th, 2019, the committee issued a subpoena to Robert Mueller in conjunction with the House Intelligence Committee. Mueller has stated that his testimony “would not go beyond” the events described in his report.
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI)
The Senate Intelligence Committee is chaired by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC). The vice chairman is Senator Mark Warner (D-VA). During the course of its investigation the committee conducted over 200 interviews and reviewed more than 300,000 documents. In February 2019, Burr stated that “based on the evidence to date” the committee did not “have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia.” While the committee has been less active in pursuing investigative matters related directly to Russia, in June 2019 the committee did hear private testimony from Donald Trump Jr. regarding plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
In addition to these investigations, other congressional committees have focused on additional threads of the Russia investigation, including the House Committee on Oversight and Reform which has investigated foreign payments made to Flynn and is trying to obtain notes and records from Trump’s meetings with Putin.