A small group of House Judiciary Committee members has traveled to the Justice Department to begin reviewing former special counsel Robert Mueller’s underlying evidence, according to multiple Democratic sources.
The initial group of lawmakers includes Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and will include committee counsels. It’s the beginning of a round of visits by lawmakers to the Justice Department to see Mueller’s interview transcripts, witness notes and other potentially explosive pieces of information that Mueller used to compile his 448-page report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct the probe.
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The groups will include Democratic and Republican lawmakers, who will be allowed to take and keep notes on what they see but are expected to keep the details confidential.
It’s also unclear which pieces of Mueller’s evidence would be made available and which might be withheld, either under executive privilege or other restrictions. The House on Tuesday authorized the committee to sue for the entire contents of Mueller’s underlying evidence, but Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) has indicated he doesn’t expect to initiate that lawsuit until he determines whether the committee is accessing enough information.
Democrats have, of late, indicated that they would like to prioritize access to Mueller’s 302s — the term for witness interview notes — as well as notes witnesses turned over to Mueller documenting their time in the West Wing. Of particular interest are the notes kept by Annie Donaldson, a deputy to former White House counsel Don McGahn. Mueller revealed some of her notes in his report, and they described a West Wing in chaos and a president deeply consumed and angered by Mueller’s investigation, shortly after the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
A second group of committee members intends to travel to the Justice Department on Tuesday.
Sarah Ferris contributed to this report.