‘Refusing to review the report you demanded as soon as possible amounts to dereliction of duty….’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) After House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, repeated inaccurate talking points about the Mueller Report, ranking minority member Doug Collins, R-Ga., seemed to wonder if Nadler actually read—and fully understood—it.
The nearly 450-page, two-volume tome—the result of almost two years of investigating—was submitted to the Attorney General’s Office in March and publicly released in redacted form last Thursday.
After much ballyhooing from House Democrats over the fact that Attorney General William Barr was taking too long with redactions—and calls from partisans such as Nadler to provide a full, unredacted report to Congress—the Justice Department took pains to meet as many of the demands as were legally permissible.
Both Collins and Nadler received offers to view the unredacted version, though Nadler allegedly refused.
Still, the Judiciary chairman—who decisively declared before the investigation was over that his committee would continue to investigate, regardless of the findings— seemed more intent on rehashing false, pre-ordained conclusions than addressing the report’s substance.
“You claim the Report states the Special Counsel wanted Congress to decide whether the President committed obstruction of justice,” wrote Collins in a letter to Nadler on Monday.
“However, a plain reading of the Report does not at all indicate—let alone make ‘very clear,’ as you claim—the Special Counsel intended for Congress to decide whether President Trump obstructed justice,” Collins said. “In fact, it is the exact opposite.”
Nadler’s assertions that Mueller was calling on Congress to pursue charges of obstruction of justice were roundly repeated throughout the mainstream media echo chamber.
“I trust by now you have thoroughly read the entire Report from the Special Counsel’s 22-month investigation,” Collins prodded the New York liberal.
Referring to a lengthy legal discussion at the start of the report’s second volume—which partisan Democrats pointed to as a justification for the probes they already had committed to, even hiring full-time investigative staffs—Collins said the “passages are not, in fact, an invitation for Congress to pick up where the Report left off.”
He noted that the constitutional division of powers authorizes Congress to write the laws, not to enforce or evaluate them.
“This simple maxim from Civics 101 has become a casualty of false claims Special Counsel Mueller asked Congress to decide whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice,” he said.
“The Special Counsel did not say that—and would not say that—because Congress is neither a prosecutorial nor judicial body.”
Mueller’s report declined to say whether Trump had obstructed justice in his May 2017 firing of FBI Director James Comey.
Democrats have claimed that Trump’s May 2017 firing of Comey constituted obstruction since the FBI was investigating the president at the time—under what were later proven to be false pretenses.
But others contend that Comey’s firing fell well within the new president’s executive purview.
The fact that there was no actual collusion underlying the investigation also makes matters more complicated. It is difficult to prove an attempted cover-up of a crime was intended if the actual crime did not occur.
Collins said that the Mueller Report had concluded that Congress would be permitted to pass a future law prohibiting the president from firing the FBI director under such circumstances—not that it had the power to re-investigate a matter already settled by the proper legal authorities.
“This isn’t a matter of legal interpretation; it’s reading comprehension,” Collins said.
Undeterred, Nadler and other Democratic leaders have pressed forward, seeking perhaps to exact revenge for the impeachment of Hillary Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice two decades ago.
Although Congress does have the power to impeach the president, Collins added that was an entirely different matter from appropriating the role of prosecutor simply because the political outcome of the original investigation did not favor them.
“Your deliberate misrepresentations to the American public threaten the fundamental separation-of-powers doctrine, are dangerous, and need to stop,” Collins told Nadler.
He noting that the current rules for DOJ-led special-counsel investigations were written by Democrats in the aftermath of the Clinton impeachment and criticized the baseless political attacks on the attorney general’s credibility.
“Moving forward, I urge you to be accurate in your claims before the American public and encourage you to take the Attorney General up on his offer to read the full report,” Collins said. “Given the stakes, dismissing this offer and refusing to review the report you demanded as soon as possible amounts to dereliction of duty.”