Alan Dershowitz slammed efforts by Democrats to push for the release of Robert Mueller’s full report as a political game.
The Harvard Law professor emeritus dismissed the push by Democrats to subpoena the Justice Department for an unredacted report as “all about politics,” during an interview on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”
“No court should and would issue a subpoena for the unredacted report, when the rules of the Justice Department provide for the Justice Department, through the attorney general, to make that decision,” Dershowitz said Wednesday. “This is all about politics.”
“They, the Democrats, want to make sure that the Republicans are perceived as though who stopped the Americans from seeing the report. They want to be on the right side of transparency and disclosure. But they have to obey the law,” he said, noting that a court would “never issue a blanket subpoena” since it would include information that could “never be unpublished once it is published.”
Dershowitz spoke before the House Judiciary Committee vote on Wednesday to authorize a subpoena for the Justice Department to release the full report to Congress.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 3, 2019
The committee voted 24-17 in a party-line vote to authorize the subpoenas which also seek all the additional material used in Mueller’s investigation, while also authorizing House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler to subpoena any other related testimony, according to The Hill.
The Democratic committee chair said that he would allow Attorney General William Barr some time to deliver the unredacted report to Congress before issuing the subpoena, but did not specify a timeline.
“I will give him time to change his mind,” Nadler said. “But if we cannot reach an accommodation then we will have no choice but to issue subpoenas for these materials.
“And if the department still refuses, then it should be up to a judge — not the president and not his political appointee — to decide whether the committee can review the complete record,” he added.
Dershowitz noted that the Supreme Court would not be likely to take the case as it would deem Barr as having the proper authority to redact material as necessary.
“One compromise might be to hand some of the unredacted material over to special committees that have classification and are sworn under oath not to disclose it,” he said. “There is a risk that could leak.”
Barr had already announced that the Justice Department will release the special counsel’s report on the Russia investigation to Congress by “mid-April, if not sooner,” after the redactions – with Mueller’s assistance – had been made. This fact, Republicans argued in a debate before the committee vote on Wednesday, render the actions by Democrats unnecessary.
“This committee has a job to do,” Nadler said Wednesday. “The Constitution charges Congress with holding the president accountable for alleged official misconduct. That job requires us to evaluate the evidence for ourselves — not the attorney general’s summary, not a substantially redacted synopsis, but the full report and the underlying evidence.”
Rep. Doug Collins slammed the “political theater” employed by Democrats in his opening statement before the vote.
“This is reckless. It’s irresponsible. And it’s disingenuous,” the Georgia lawmaker and the committee’s top Republican said.
“What’s the rush? Spring break, probably,” he said. “We don’t want to wait ‘til May. We don’t want to wait until the report comes out.”
Nadler leads charge to subpoena for full, unredacted Mueller report, demand docs from Trump aides https://t.co/h9NqZkoMUD
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 2, 2019
The resolution also authorized Nadler to subpoena documents from former White House Counsel Don McGahn, former White House strategist Steve Bannon, former communications director Hope Hicks, former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and former White House aide Ann Donaldson