Doug Collins

Judiciary Committee focuses on Mueller report with pundit panel
Former White House counsel Dean says report needs to be discussed because too few read it

Former White House counsel John Dean is sworn in Monday at a House Judiciary hearing titled “Lessons from the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes.” (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Early in a House Judiciary Committee hearing Monday about the special counsel investigation, the former White House counsel to President Richard Nixon defended why the members should hear testimony from four witnesses not involved in the probe.

The committee hearing is adding something that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III could not in his report, “and that’s public education,” John Dean said in response to a comment from the panel’s ranking Republican, Doug Collins of Georgia.

Nadler reaches agreement with DOJ over Mueller report evidence
The DOJ will share documents Monday, and all House Judiciary Committee members from both parties will be able to view them

Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., conduct a House Judiciary Committee markup in Rayburn Building on May 8, 2019. Nadler said the DOJ will share evidence from the Mueller report related to allegations President Donald Trump obstructed the investigation. All committee members from both parties will be able to view them. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Justice Department agreed Monday to give the House Judiciary Committee key evidence from the special counsel report related to allegations President Donald Trump obstructed the investigation, on the eve of a scheduled floor vote to authorize legal action to enforce two committee subpoenas.

Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said the DOJ will share the documents Monday, and all committee members from both parties will be able to view them. The move means he will not move forward on criminal contempt against Attorney General William Barr, and give the Justice Department time to comply with the agreement.

Nixon counsel John Dean will testify Trump’s actions are ‘strikingly like Watergate’
Dean will be the star witness at a House Judiciary Committee hearing Monday

John Dean, White House Counsel for United States President Richard Nixon will testify to the House Judiciary Committee Monday. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Former White House Counsel to President Richard Nixon John Dean drew parallels from how the former president tried to cover up the Watergate break-in to President Donald Trump’s actions to impede the Mueller investigation in a television interview Monday.

“Nixon was hands-on very early, just like Trump was hands-on very early. The firing of James Comey was not unlike the actions Nixon took,” Dean said in an interview with CNN ahead of his testimony to Congress on presidential obstruction. 

Road ahead: House tackles first spending package and NDAA endurance contest
House also set to vote on a ‘not quite contempt’ resolution Tuesday

A man stands near the Mountains and Clouds sculpture in the Hart Building atrium on June 4. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House has blockbuster floor action teed up this week, including votes on the first spending package for fiscal 2020 and a measure that would authorize the Judiciary Committee to pursue civil lawsuits against Attorney General William Barr and other administration officials.

House lawmakers have been warned that late-night votes are on the schedule as they work through floor consideration of a five-bill package that amounts to about $990 billion in discretionary spending for fiscal 2020.

News Media Alliance pushes for new Senate antitrust bill
Measure aims to give news publishers a leg up in battle with big tech

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has introduced along with Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., a new bill that would temporarily exempt news publishers from antitrust laws. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The News Media Alliance is scoring some legislative points against the much bigger K Street players Google and Facebook with a bipartisan Senate bill unveiled Monday evening that would temporarily exempt publishers from antitrust laws.

The measure — sponsored by Louisiana Republican John Kennedy and Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar — would free up news publishers to jointly bargain with big technology companies in a quest for a bigger slice of digital revenue. It’s the companion to a House bill that Rhode Island Democrat David Cicilline and Georgia Republican Doug Collins introduced this spring.

House Democrats weigh next steps after Mueller announcement
Special counsel spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday, but did not take questions

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is seen on a monitor in the Russell Building on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, making a statement at the Department of Justice on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Kelly O'Donnell of NBC News listens in the background. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:33 p.m. | Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s announcement Wednesday that he would not disclose more information about the Russia probe prompted Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee to urge more action from Congress.

But exactly what Congress will do remains unclear, underscoring the heavy political risks involved in any action — or inaction — lawmakers take ahead of the 2020 elections.

White House gets back-up from DOJ on Don McGahn testimony stance

The White House says former White House counsel Don McGahn does not have to testify, according to an internal DOJ memo. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump Monday ordered former White House Counsel Don McGahn to not testify at a House Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for Tuesday, with the administration saying the former adviser has “absolute immunity” and is not legally required to comply with a congressional subpoena.

The move was not unexpected as part of Trump’s “oppose-all-the-subpoenas” stance since the conclusion of the special counsel investigation last month. But it further escalates the separation-of-powers showdown between the Trump administration and congressional oversight.

10 images that define the week in Washington
The week of May 6 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., shows off his $45 Trump bills after participating in a press conference on national security outside of the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Another week in Washington has come to close. Lawmakers spent the first week of May holding hearings on the fallout of the Mueller report and honoring fallen law enforcement officers. 

At the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, President Donald Trump’s my-way-or-the-highway negotiating style was on full display this week, John T. Bennett writes. But the president is set to end the week with little gained on some big campaign promises.

Bipartisan swipes from McCarthy at House Judiciary and Senate Intelligence chairmen
House minority questions Nadler qualifications, says Burr’s panel ‘got it wrong’ on Trump Jr.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Thursday questioned Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler’s ability to hold the gavel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday continued his calls for Congress to “move on” from the special counsel investigation, he swiped at House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr.

The California Republican during his weekly press conference questioned whether Nadler is qualified to hold the Judiciary gavel, saying if he were in charge of the Democratic Caucus he’d haul the chairman in to meet with the House parliamentarian over his “lack of knowledge” about procedure. 

Are Democrats using quest for unredacted Mueller report as shield against impeachment?
Court fight to obtain full report could drag beyond 2020 election, allowing Democrats to avoid impeachment decision

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., conducts a markup on a resolution to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing to respond to a committee subpoena for the unredacted special counsel report and investigatory materials. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democratic leaders have unequivocally accused President Donald Trump of ongoing obstruction of justice, but they say they won’t decide whether to begin impeachment proceedings against him without seeing the full report and evidence from the special counsel’s investigation.

The result is a single-track process that will likely involve a lengthy court battle for the unredacted version of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report and his underlying investigatory materials. Trump on Wednesday asserted executive privilege over those documents, before the Judiciary  Committee voted along party lines to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for ignoring the panel’s subpoena to turn them over.