WASHINGTON — House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Sunday he will subpoena special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before lawmakers if a report on Mueller’s sweeping investigation into Russian election interference is not made public.
Schiff (D-Calif.) also told ABC’s “This Week” he believes Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney and self-described “fixer,” has “a lot to offer” when he testifies before lawmakers this week about his knowledge of Trump’s business dealings.
Schiff said his committee would explore all options to ensure Mueller’s report is disclosed to the public once the more than two-year-long probe wraps up. The investigation is reportedly also examining whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice by firing former FBI Director James Comey over his initial handling of the Russia investigation.
“We will obviously subpoena the report," Schiff told “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos. "We will bring Bob Mueller in to testify before Congress. We will take it to court if necessary.”
Schiff’s comments follow days of speculation that Mueller’s report would be released by the end of this week. A senior Justice Department official told The Washington Post on Friday Mueller’s investigation was winding down, but a report was more likely to come in March.
Congressional Democrats have been waging a campaign to ensure the report is made public by Trump’s newly confirmed attorney general, William Barr. Trump has said he will defer to Barr to decide on whether to release the report. Barr, during his Senate confirmation hearings earlier this month, said he would commit to providing “as much information as I can” as allowed under the law.
On Friday, six House Democrats including Schiff, and New York Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Eliot Engel, issued a letter to Barr “to express, in the strongest possible terms, our expectation that the Department of Justice will release to the public the report Special Counsel Mueller submits to you — without delay and to the maximum extent permitted by law.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), answering questions at an unrelated news conference in Manhattan, said Mueller should publicly disclose his findings.
"I think the American people have a right to know what’s happened with their democracy — whether or not Russians interfered, whether there was collusion and whether there was obstruction of justice," Gillibrand said.
Schiff on Sunday told “This Week” he believes the Justice Department “understands they’re going to have to make this public," and said, “If the president is serious about all of his claims of exoneration, then he should welcome the publication of this report,” Schiff said.
Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, also appearing on the show, said he expected Mueller would provide “an honest, independent assessment of the work” completed by investigators.
Schiff said the House Intelligence Committee hoped to learn “a great deal” from Cohen, the president’s longtime ally who has been sentenced to three years in federal prison in part for his role in arranging hush money payments to two alleged Trump paramours before the 2016 election.
Cohen is to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed-door session on Tuesday. On Wednesday he will testify publicly before the House Oversight and Reform Committee and on Thursday he will speak to the House Intelligence Committee behind closed doors.
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, appearing on "Face the Nation," said he expects the next three to four months will be "very tough" for the president amid the pending release of the Mueller report, and other federal and state probes into Trump's campaign dealings.
“You have the Mueller report coming out. You have what's happening on this investigation of the inaugural committee, you have the Southern District of New York, you have other investigations going on. I mean the pressure on the president is coming from many different angles,” Bannon said.
With Alison Fox