Top Democrat in U.S. Senate wants hearings before any impeachment effort

Top Democrat in U.S. Senate wants hearings before any impeachment effort

Nadler, however, says he will meet with officials from the Department of Justice as the two sides work to resolve the dispute over whether lawmakers can see the unfiltered report, or at least a large portion of it.

Regardless of whether Democrats pursue impeachment, they must win the 2020 presidential election, Pelosi said.

Democrats are preparing to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress as early as Wednesday for failing to comply with a subpoena for access to the full Mueller report, and grappling with the White House over documents and testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn.

The speaker added that Congress' powers of impeachment are a justification for Democrats to be given access to the unredacted Mueller report and its associated investigative materials.

Mueller's report remains at the center of a dispute in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

"Such unreasonable demands, together with the Committee's precipitous threat to hold the Attorney General in contempt, are a transparent attempt to short-circuit the constitutionally mandated accommodation process and provoke an unnecessary conflict between our branches of government".

McConnell knows his message won't resonate with House Democrats - who he called part of an "outrage industrial complex that spans from Capitol press conferences to cable news" - but he recognizes it may muddy the impact of their actions for investigation-wary Americans.

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Nadler dismissed the Justice Department's move as "without credibility, merit, or legal or factual basis", arguing that the White House waived privilege when it allow aides to testify before Mueller in the first place. In the Mueller report, it says that Congress has other options it can pursue besides indictment. "No redos for the Dems!"

"In some corners, special counsel Mueller came to be regarded as something of a secular saint, destined to rescue the country" from Donald Trump, McConnell said, noting the quasi-religious reverence some had for the investigator.

Two frequent Trump critics have said they want to hear from Mueller.

The top Republican on the committee, Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, accused Democrats of being uninterested in examining the facts they were being offered by the Justice Department. But we can not accept a second term for Donald Trump if we are going to be faithful to our Democracy and to the Constitution of the United States, and that is just a fact.

The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a Wednesday vote on a contempt citation for Barr, who missed a second deadline to give lawmakers the full report and failed to appear at a hearing before the panel last week.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment beyond the letter. "Democrats have launched a proxy war smearing the attorney general when their anger actually lies with the president and the special counsel, who found neither conspiracy nor obstruction".

Nadler said the contempt vote would go forward as planned but encouraged the Justice Department to "think better of this last-minute outburst and return to negotiations".

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