Vote by House Democrats could take subpoena fight to federal court

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Nadler said the documents would allow his committee members to perform their 'constitutional duties.' He said it would 'hold the criminal contempt process in abeyance'.

The hearing had a farcical character, as the Democrats have been unable to secure agreement by any Trump official to testify on the Mueller report due to the administration's wholesale refusal to comply with requests or subpoenas from the Democratic-led House for testimony or documents from current or former administration officials.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, may also seek votes by the entire House to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt.

Mueller wrote in his report that there was not enough evidence to establish a conspiracy between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russian Federation to influence the outcome of the election.

The criticism underscores the problem Democrats face in trying to draw attention to Mueller's findings, particularly because Trump has blocked former White House aides from testifying.

Democrats are pushing a resolution through the House Tuesday that would make it easier to sue President Donald Trump's administration and potential witnesses, paving the way for legal action against those who defy subpoenas in Congress' Russia probe and other investigations.

A growing number of Democrats have called for launching an impeachment inquiry against Trump, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has continued to counsel a more deliberate course.

"If the department proceeds in good faith and we are able to obtain everything that we need, then there will be no need to take further steps", Nadler said in a statement.

When the committee threatened Barr with contempt of Congress charges, the White House responded by invoking executive privilege over the information in question.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the Justice Department would be opening Mueller's "most important files to us, providing us with key evidence that the special counsel used to assess whether" Trump and others "obstructed justice or were engaged in other misconduct".

"He's not a credible person", Conway said of Dean.

But two-thirds of voters said the Mueller report did not completely exonerate Trump from wrongdoing compared to 25 percent of respondents who said it did.

On Monday, the House Judiciary Panel heard from John Dean, a former White House counsel whose testimony helped bring down former President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal. Dean testified that Mueller's report is to Trump as the Watergate grand jury report was to his former boss. "Special counsel Mueller has provided this committee with a road map".

Moreover, Collins and other Republicans said, Democrats are at sixes and sevens trying to sustain the Russian Federation imbroglio long past the point at which Washington and the country have moved on.

Pelosi said on Tuesday she has decided not to fire back at the president and instead said she "doesn't even want to talk about him".

At the White House, Trump dismissed Dean and any notion of impeachment. "That's why these proceedings are moving so slowly: Robert Mueller closed up shop a little too early in the election cycle".

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