WASHINGTON DC — House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff is scrapping a Wednesday morning meeting intended to take an “enforcement action” against the Justice Department after it agreed to begin providing the committee with counterintelligence documents from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
The decision to postpone the business meeting — where Schiff was threatened to take unspecified action against Attorney General William Barr for not complying with the committee’s subpoena for Mueller’s counterintelligence materials — is a rare sign of the Trump administration and a House panel successfully negotiating around a Democratic subpoena for documents.
Schiff had issued a subpoena for all of Mueller’s counterintelligence materials, but he had proposed that the Justice Department begin the effort by providing 12 specific sets of counterintelligence materials that were referenced in the Mueller report. The Justice Department wrote in a letter to Schiff Tuesday that it was continuing to review the initial tranche of 12 categories of documents Schiff wanted and would make them available “in relatively short order,” so long as he didn’t move forward with an action holding Barr in contempt of Congress.
“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,” Schiff said in a statement Wednesday morning.
“As a result of the Department’s acceptance, the business meeting has been postponed,” Schiff added. “The Committee’s subpoena will remain in effect, and will be enforced should the Department fail to comply with the full document request. The Department has repeatedly acknowledged the Committee’s legitimate oversight interest in these materials. I look forward to, and expect, continued compliance by the Department so we can do our vital oversight work.”