The Mueller Report: Can Congress Get It?

03.13.19 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

If the Attorney General decided to withhold portions of the pending report of the Special Counsel, he might justify his decision by citing legal protections for grand jury information and for executive privilege.

But there are exceptions to both of these categories, and Congress has tools of its own to pursue the desired information, the Congressional Research Service said in a new assessment.

With respect to grand jury information in the Special Counsel report, “Congress could opt to seek documents or testimony from grand jury witnesses themselves,” CRS said.

As for executive privilege, it “is generally qualified, and can be surmounted (in court) if Congress can show an overriding need for the information.” See The Special Counsel’s Report: Can Congress Get It?, CRS Legal Sidebar, March 8, 2019 And see, relatedly, The Special Counsel’s Report: What Do Current DOJ Regulations Require?, CRS Legal Sidebar, March 7, 2019.

Other noteworthy new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following.

Membership of the 116th Congress: A Profile, March 7, 2019

Foreign Agents Registration Act: An Overview, CRS In Focus, updated March 7, 2019

United States European Command: Overview and Key Issues, CRS In Focus, March 12, 2019

The War Powers Resolution: Concepts and Practice, updated March 8, 2019

Strategic Competition and Foreign Policy: What is “Political Warfare”?, CRS In Focus, March 8, 2019

Defense Primer: A Guide for New Members, updated March 8, 2019