New House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff made it clear to ABC's George Stephanopoulos that Democrats were not going to allow the Mueller report to be buried by the incoming Attorney General William Barr. Schiff vowed to subpoena the report and bring Robert Mueller to testify before Congress if necessary during an interview this Sunday:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, that gets to a question about the Mueller investigation. If it turns out, as the president has said so many times, that he did not collude with the Russians to interfere in the election, but, in fact, he was pursuing this Trump Tower at the same time, if that's not criminal, does Mueller have a responsibility to report it or no?
SCHIFF: He does have a responsibility to report it; and, in fact, if you take the position, and I think it's a flawed one, but if you take the position that the president cannot be indicted, and the only remedy for improper, illegal or other conduct is impeachment, then you cannot withhold that information from congress, or essentially the president has immunity. So that cannot be allowed to be the case. Bob -- or Bill Barr has committed in his testimony to making as much of the report public as he can. And the regulations allow him to make it all.
We’re going to insist on it becoming public. And more than that, George, we’re going to insist on the underlying evidence because there is certain evidence is only in the hands of the Department of Justice that we can't get any other way. There were searches conducted, for example, of Roger Stone and Paul Manafort. There’s no other way to get the information that was seized except through the department and we can't tell the country fully what happened without it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: As -- as you -- as you know, William Barr may have quite a different view of what those regulations require than you do. They could allow him to release the entire report, but under Justice Department regulations, officials have said that if you decline to prosecute someone, then the underlying evidence should not be released.↓ Story continues below ↓
SCHIFF: But George, the department has violated that policy repeatedly and extendedly, you know, to a -- to a great extent over the last two years. And in fact, I’ve had this conversation with Rod Rosenstein and others down at the Justice Department as they turned over thousands and thousands of pages of discovery in the Clinton e-mail investigation and there was no indictment in that investigation, that this was a new precedent they were setting and they were going to have to live by this precedent whether it was a Congress controlled by the Democrats or Republicans.
So they're going to have to abide by that. And I think also, quite separate apart from the precedent they’ve already set, is the intense public need to know here, which I think overrides any other consideration.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You -- you say -- you say the Justice Department’s going to have to live by that precedent, but what if they don't? What if they say no, we’re not going to release the underlying evidence. What options do you have.
SCHIFF: Well we will obviously subpoena the report, we will bring Bob Mueller in to testify before Congress, we will take it to court if necessary. And in the end, I think the department understands they're going to have to make this public. I think Barr will ultimately understand that as well. Barr comes into this job with two strikes against him. He applied for the job by be demonstrating a bias against the Mueller investigation. Indeed that's part of the reason he was hired. He’s also not been willing to commit to following the advice of the ethics lawyers. Indeed that was part of the reason he was hired.
If he were try to withhold, to try to bury any part of this report, that will be his legacy and it will be a tarnished legacy. So I think there’ll be immense pressure not only on the department, but on the attorney general to be forthcoming.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You're talking about public pressure. Are you prepared to take the administration to court?
SCHIFF: Absolutely. We are going to get to the bottom of this. We are going to share this information with the public and if the president is serious about all of his claims of exoneration, then he should welcome the publication of this report.