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Nadler reaches deal with DOJ over key Mueller report documents

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WASHINGTON — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., announced Monday that he had reached an agreement with the Department of Justice over obtaining underlying evidence from the Mueller report related to possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump.

Nadler announced the deal in a statement, saying that the DOJ “has agreed to begin complying with our committee’s subpoena by opening Robert Mueller’s most important files to us.”

“The Department will share the first of these documents with us later today,” Nadler said. “All members of the Judiciary Committee — Democrats and Republicans alike — will be able to view them. These documents will allow us to perform our constitutional duties and decide how to respond to the allegations laid out against the President by the Special Counsel.”

The announcement came just hours before the committee holds the first in a series of hearings on the Mueller report and a day before the House is set to vote on a civil contempt resolution seeking to enforce committee subpoenas.

Nadler said in his statement that the House would hold off on the “criminal contempt process” for now.

“We have agreed to allow the Department time to demonstrate compliance with this agreement,” Nadler said. “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. If important information is held back, then we will have no choice but to enforce our subpoena in court and consider other remedies.”

Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in a statement that the department is “pleased” the panel is setting aside its criminal contempt measure, saying the DOJ “remains committed to appropriately accommodating Congress’s legitimate interests related to the Special Counsel’s Investigation and will continue to do so provided the previously voted-upon resolution does not advance.”

Nadler’s announcement indicated that the House would still vote on the resolution Tuesday to authorize the Judiciary panel to “enforce its subpoenas in federal court.”

“Some enforcement action may be necessary to obtain documents and testimony outside the scope of today’s agreement with the Department of Justice, including testimony from former White House Counsel Don McGahn,” the committee said in a news release accompanying Nadler’s statement.

Meanwhile, John Dean, who served as White House counsel to President Richard Nixon and played a key role in the Watergate hearings in the 1970s, will testify at the committee’s hearing on the Mueller report Monday at 2 p.m.

Separately, the House Intelligence Committee will hold a rare open hearing on the counterintelligence implications of the Mueller report on Wednesday, at which Stephanie Douglas and Robert Anderson, former executive assistant directors of the FBI’s national security branch, are scheduled to testify.

Alex Moe contributed.

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Tory leadership race tracker: How Boris Johnson and Rory Stewart fared after BBC debate

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TORY leadership candidate Rory Stewart has suffered a massive drop in support following the BBC debate on Tuesday evening – whilst Boris Johnson is looking more popular than ever.

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Hope Hicks testifies before House committee behind closed doors

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s former aide Hope Hicks arrived on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning to testify behind closed doors before the House Judiciary Committee.

Democrats planned to focus their questions on what they say are five crimes of obstruction of justice established by the Mueller Report against Trump, as well as campaign finance violations involved with alleged election-year hush money payments.

Her appearance marks the first time a former Trump aide has come in to answer questions before that panel as part of Democrats’ obstruction of justice investigation. A transcript of the interview will be released, though it may not appear for several days.

Other issues Democrats plan to question Hicks about include Trump’s conduct and attitude towards former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Trump’s reaction when former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation and the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, among others.

In a letter sent to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., Tuesday evening, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone asserted that Hicks was not legally required to provide testimony regarding her time working in the White House.

“Ms. Hicks is absolutely immune from being compelled to testify before Congress with respect to matters occurring during her service as a senior adviser to the President,” he wrote.

Nadler dismissed those claims. “I reject that assertion” regarding blanket executive privilege, he said in a response released late Tuesday night, adding that after the panel poses questions to her, “we will address privilege and other objections on a question by question basis.”

Hicks’s testimony comes after the Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena last month for her appearance. She previously served as White House communications director and the White House director of strategic communications after a stint as a senior aide on Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The White House directed Hicks and another former White House aide earlier this month not to hand over any documents to the House Judiciary Committee related to their time at the White House.

Mike Memoli contributed.



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Commons erupts in fury as SNP's Ian Blackford brands Boris Johnson 'racist'

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SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford sparked fury in the House of Commons after he branded former foreign secretary Boris Johnson “racist”.

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