by Sharon Rondeau
(Mar. 24, 2019) — 3:22 p.m. – Two minutes ago, Dana Perino of the Fox News Channel said that a summary by Attorney General William Barr produced by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Russia “collusion” and interference in the 2016 election will be provided to Congress in “between 15 and 30 minutes.”
The report has been anticipated for the last several weeks, and its delivery to Barr on Friday night set off strong reactions in the media and from members of Congress.
On “Meet the Press” Sunday morning, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said, “It’s critical that everything in that report and the underlying evidence be public, be open to the American people. That transparency is key. America needs answers as to what’s been going on. As we learned from the Nixon tapes case, executive privilege cannot be used to hide wrongdoing.”
On CNN, Nadler said that Congress has a “broader” mandate to conduct oversight of the executive branch and that his committee and others will continue investigating issues surrounding Donald Trump which they believe could reveal wrongdoing. Nadler, however, admitted that Mueller reportedly found no “collusion” between members of the Trump campaign and Russians to affect the outcome of the election, as Mueller reportedly told Barr that no additional indictments were recommended.
Conversely, House Oversight Committee ranking member Jim Jordan said on “Face the Nation,” “Well under- understand this, when this thing all started back in May of 2017 the Justice Department had already been looking into this issue for– they- they started in 2016, late summer 2016. And all the way up until the special counsel’s named in May of 2017 there was no evidence of collusion at that point either because when we deposed Lisa Page, when we deposed Jim Comey they both told us, up until the point that Comey left the FBI, there was no evidence of collusion. Now, 22 months later there still doesn’t appear to be any evidence of any type of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia to impact the election. We’ll read the report and we’ll see what it says but that seems to be the- the facts as we know them.”
By congressional statute, any report issued by a Special Counsel working under the mandate of the Justice Department is “confidential” and delivered to the attorney general, who then writes a summary for Congress, omitting any classified information, grand jury testimony or other information which could inflict reputational damage. Congressional Democrats have already said they will subpoena the entire report and take the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.
At 3:37 p.m., Fox News took a pause, stating that the summary is expected “any moment.”
Congress is currently out of session.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.