Washington, DC , March 14, 2019 – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, spoke on the House Floor in support of H. Con. Res. 24, legislation urging the public release of Special Counsel Mueller’s report and underlying evidence.
The text of the speech is below:
“I thank the gentleman from New York for yielding, and for his sponsorship of this important legislation. I rise in strong support.
“Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed in May 2017 to oversee the ongoing criminal and counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, and over the nearly two years since his appointment, the Special Counsel has indicted 34 individuals and 3 companies and secured guilty pleas or convictions from 8 individuals. We do not know when the Special Counsel will complete his work, but there are indications that it could occur in the near future.
“Notwithstanding the overwhelming public interest in the Special Counsel’s report and findings, I am deeply concerned that Attorney General Barr may attempt to withhold Mueller’s full report from the public and the underlying evidence from Congress, and could instead seek to provide only a ‘cliff’s notes’ version of the report to Congress. As this resolution makes clear, Congress will not accept any attempt by Mr. Barr or the President to bury the report and the findings of the Special Counsel.
“Withholding this information would be untenable in light of the intense public interest and need for transparency, but particularly so when the Department has provided voluminous production to Congress at the demand of the previous Majority, including sensitive FISA materials and other classified and law enforcement sensitive materials related to the Mueller investigation and the Clinton email investigation.
“Last year, I directly warned Department leadership that in providing these materials to Congress, they were establishing a precedent, and one they would have to live with in the future. They did so anyway. And while anonymous sources at the Department have attempted to publicly blame James Comey for the provision of this information, in fact the Department has turned over 880,000 pages of documents from the Clinton email investigation to Congress, all of them – all of them – pursuant to congressional subpoenas issued after James Comey was fired. And they have produced highly sensitive records, including FISA materials, directly related to ongoing investigations at the core of the Special Counsel’s charter.
“To be sure, something far more serious than precedent is at stake. Disclosure is uniquely imperative here, because the Special Counsel reportedly is investigating whether the President himself engaged in misconduct. If the Special Counsel indeed has uncovered evidence of serious wrongdoing on the President’s part, then that evidence must be furnished to Congress and, ultimately, to the American people. Withholding the full report or underlying evidence would only heighten concerns over a cover up, or a pernicious or partisan double standard.
“The Special Counsel regulations were written above all to ensure public confidence in the fair and impartial administration of justice. That charge would be entirely vitiated by an attempt to cover up or conceal Special Counsel Mueller’s findings and report, whatever they may be and whenever they are finalized. I urge members of both parties to join me in supporting this resolution and to make clear that anything less than full transparency is unacceptable.”