Witnesses testifying at a House Judiciary Committee hearing confirmed that Attorney General William Barr would have been forced to break the law if he complied with the committee’s subpoena to release the unredacted Mueller report.
Towards the tail end of Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing, freshman Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) probed the witnesses on whether or not Barr would have broken the law if he had released the unredacted report into Russian election interference, which would have included grand jury material.
Three of the witnesses — Yeshiva University law professor Kate Shaw, R Street Institute Senior Fellow Paul Rosenzweig, and Georgia State University law professor Neil Kinkopf — all agreed that the attorney general would have been in violation of the law if he had released the full report.
Watch the video here:
MUST WATCH: The Democratic witnesses at the House Judiciary Committee hearing testified that the subpoena committee Democrats issued to AG Barr requires him to violate the law in order to comply. #MuellerReport pic.twitter.com/A9b1WKIe6Z
— Congressman Kelly Armstrong (@RepArmstrongND) May 15, 2019
Shaw said that she believed that “the law protects grand jury material” and sided with Armstrong that the release of the full report would have violated federal statute.
Rosenzweig also agreed with Armstrong but stated that there was nothing preventing Barr from “asking a court for permission” to hand over the classified grand jury documents.
“I agree, though I would say that nothing in the statute prevents [the attorney general] from asking a court for permission to provide that rule 6(e) material.”
Armstrong fired back at Rosenzweig, agreeing with the witness but proclaiming that “nothing in the statute” or congressional authority “compels” Barr to hand over the 6(e) material while stating that “a subpoena surely does not compel him to go to court.”
Rosenzweig agreed with Armstrong’s assertation, echoing the North Dakota congressman.
Last week, the House Judiciary Committee — chaired by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) — voted to hold Barr in contempt of Congress after the attorney general refused to turn over the unredacted Mueller report.