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House authorizes going to court over Barr, McGahn subpoenas

Jennifer Haberkorn and Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

However, the Justice Department agreed this week to provide some of the underlying evidence behind the Mueller report to the Judiciary Committee, part of an agreement to stave off the contempt of Congress vote, according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler D-N.Y. Democratic lawmakers said they hadn't seen the materials and didn't yet know their scope.

It is unclear how soon the House may actually go to court to try to get a judge to enforce its subpoenas. Some Democrats suggested that the move Tuesday could be merely a negotiating tactic to encourage more cooperation from the Trump administration.

"I expect that we will not race to the courthouse" if the Justice Department continues to cooperate, said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., a member of the Judiciary panel.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, R-Texas, said the current step allows for continued negotiation as the House pursues legal action.

"We've been winning in the courts," she said, referring to two recent victories in the courts for the House's multiple investigations into the Trump administration. The vote Tuesday gives "blanket authority" to pursue more legal action, she said.

Republicans suggested that Tuesday's vote could be premature if the Justice Department continues to negotiate with the House.


"This whole thing may be nothing more than sound and fury" from Democrats, said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.

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