The US House of Representatives passed a resolution along party lines enforcing subpoenas which could have an impact on officials in the Trump administration.
The US House of Representatives approved a resolution on Tuesday to enforce subpoenas against officials in the Trump administration.
The resolution passed along party lines overall, with Democrats supporting and Republicans opposing it. The final count was 229-191, with 13 people not recording a vote.
With this resolution, the Judiciary Committee is authorised to go to court to enforce subpoenas related to the Mueller inquiry.
The Mueller Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election is a two-volume, 448-page document that recounts how US President Donald Trump repeatedly sought to take control of the Russia probe.
It was released in April 2019 in redacted form and looked into whether there were “any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign” to influence the US presidential campaign in 2016.
According to the Mueller Report: “Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election principally through two operations.”
Mueller then goes on to describe the two operations: “First, a Russian entity carried out a social media campaign that favoured presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
“Second, a Russian intelligence service conducted computer-intrusion operations against entities, employees, and volunteers working on the Clinton Campaign and then released stolen documents.”
Trump and his administration have been uncooperative in the investigation, and there have been possible instances of obstruction of justice by Trump against the Mueller investigation, such as Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey, the president's directive to subordinates to have Mueller fired and efforts to encourage witnesses not to cooperate.
With the new resolution, US lawmakers can now go to court to enforce their subpoenas against uncooperative witnesses and defendants, for example US Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn, without having to go through full House votes.
Barr had refused to release the unredacted Mueller Report and to appear before the Judiciary Committee, defying his subpoena.
McGahn was also subpoenaed by the Democrats to testify before the Judicial Committee, but when the White House told him not to comply, he also failed to show up. Trump had asked McGahn several times to direct the Justice Department to remove Mueller, according to the Mueller Report.