President Trump on Tuesday assailed House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler for his demand to see the full special-counsel report on the Russia investigation, noting that the New York Democrat had opposed the release of the 1998 Starr report on the investigation of President Bill Clinton.
The morning tweet by Trump followed a conversation about the issue on “Fox & Friends.” On Monday, the Washington Examiner published a piece highlighting Nadler’s decades-old comments after the conclusion of the Clinton investigation and noted that they seemed to conflict with what he says today about Trump.
Trump continues to claim special counsel Robert S. Mueller III found “no collusion” between Trump associates and Russia, even though Attorney General William P. Barr’s summary of Mueller’s findings states that the special counsel did not “find” or “establish” a criminal conspiracy. According to Barr, Mueller did not make a determination on whether Trump had obstructed justice.
Nadler’s committee plans to vote Wednesday to subpoena the Mueller report in its entirety.
After Kenneth W. Starr, the independent counsel who investigated Clinton, delivered his report in September 1998, Nadler immediately rejected calls from Republicans to make the entire thing public.
“It’s grand-jury material. It represents statements which may or may not be true by various witnesses — salacious material, all kinds of material that it would be unfair to release,” Nadler said on the Charlie Rose show.
The Starr report included graphic details about Clinton and Monica Lewinsky’s sexual relationship. Ultimately, however, the report was released in full.
“In 1998, the debate was not about Congress receiving evidence. Congress had already received the full, 445-page report and 17 boxes of additional documents, including grand-jury material. In 1998, the debate was about what type of material from the underlying evidence in the Starr report should be made public,” said Daniel Schwarz, Judiciary Committee spokesman.
“Our expectation is that Attorney General Barr will be as forthcoming now as Mr. Starr was in 1998,” Schwarz added.
Nadler’s resistance to the Starr report being released in full also involved privacy concerns. Barr has voiced a similar justification for why he might redact certain aspects of the Mueller report.
Nonetheless, Nadler had remained very critical of Clinton’s behavior. He told Rose that even if it did not rise to the level of a criminal or impeachable offense, the president had “clearly engaged in reprehensible, unfortunate and immoral conduct.”
“I’m not taking any position at this point, but I could end up taking the position that he shouldn’t be impeached but still think he did something really terrible that I don’t want to defend in an election campaign or any other forum,” Nadler said.
Few Republicans have similarly criticized Trump’s conduct.
Rachael Bade contributed to this report.