Doosuur Iwambe, Abuja
The House Intelligence Committee has put on hold it planned vote to enforce a subpoena for Attorney General William Barr after the Justice Department agreed to begin producing some of special counsel Robert Mueller’s files.
In a statement made available to journalists, the House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said that a committee business meeting Wednesday to vote on what he has described as an “enforcement action” has been canceled and that he expected the Justice Department to begin producing the foreign intelligence and counterintelligence documents by the end of the week.
“The Department of Justice has accepted our offer of a first step towards compliance with our subpoena, and this week will begin turning over to the Committee twelve categories of counterintelligence and foreign intelligence materials as part of an initial rolling production.
“That initial production should be completed by the end of next week.
”As a result of the Department’s acceptance, the business meeting has been postponed. The Committee’s subpoena will remain in effect, and will be enforced should the Department fail to comply with the full document request,” Schiff said.
In response to Schiff’s decision, Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec said that the department appreciates “the continued dialogue” with the committee and looks forward to “working towards appropriately accommodating their requests.”
This decision is coming just as president Donald Trump led government and Congress battle over a series of demands by Democrats to get paperwork and hear testimony from officials that could shed light on various controversies.
The administration’s stonewalling of the Democratic demands has led to new calls to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump, something Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has resisted. The Democratic caucus is set to discuss their oversight and investigations of the administration later on Wednesday morning.
Schiff issued a subpoena for Mueller’s unredacted report, the underlying evidence, and all counterintelligence and foreign intelligence materials generated in the course of the investigation on May 8, setting a May 15 deadline for the department to comply.
Last week, Schiff said that the Justice Department had not produced a single document in response to the subpoena, which he said “raised profound questions about whether the department has any intention to honor its legal obligations.”