Schiff: 'First move' to protect Mueller is asking Trump administration to preserve records

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said Thursday Democrats made the "first move" in protec...

Posted: Nov 9, 2018 4:56 AM
Updated: Nov 9, 2018 4:56 AM

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said Thursday Democrats made the "first move" in protecting special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation by sending letters ordering top Trump administration officials to preserve documents connected to the probe.

The expected new chairmen of the House Judiciary, Intelligence and Oversight committees sent letters on Wednesday ordering top Trump administration officials to preserve documents connected to Mueller's investigation and the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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Schiff, the expected new leader of the Intelligence Committee after Democrats took back the House Tuesday, told CNN that this is the "first move" Democrats have taken to prevent Mueller from potentially being fired.

"But if the President effectively undermines the rule of law and causes the special counsel to be fired or an abrupt or partisan end to this investigation, then it will fall on Congress to find out the facts itself, to get those facts from the Justice Department, to continue our own investigation so that we can tell the country exactly what happened," Schiff said Thursday in an interview on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

President Donald Trump insists publicly he has no plans to fire Mueller, but has worked to discredit the investigation, calling it a "witch hunt."

The letters sent from the four Democrats -- Reps. Schiff, Jerry Nadler of New York, Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who is the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee -- signal that Democrats plan to investigate Sessions' firing when they take control of Congress in January.

Sessions was fired by Trump Wednesday and replaced with Matt Whitaker as the new acting attorney general. Whitaker will now take the reins over the Mueller investigation.

"Committees will also be investigating Attorney General Sessions' departure," the letters state. "We therefore ask you immediately provide us with all orders, notices and guidance regarding preservation of information related to these matters and investigations."

The letters also are the Democrats' effort to protect Mueller's evidence if Whitaker, who has been outspoken against the probe, takes steps to curtail the special counsel investigation.

Schiff also told Tapper on Thursday that Whitaker needs to recuse himself, given his previous remarks about the Mueller probe, so that any decision he makes in oversight does not "have a taint about it."

The letters went out to nine individuals within the administration: Whitaker, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, CIA Director Gina Haspel, FBI Director Chris Wray, National Security Agency Director Paul Nakasone, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Deputy US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Robert Khuzami and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.

The letters were first reported by Politico.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 315026

Reported Deaths: 7257
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21684260
Hinds20385416
Harrison17973309
Rankin13650278
Jackson13456246
Madison10130217
Lee9988174
Jones8388163
Forrest7701152
Lauderdale7198240
Lowndes6411148
Lamar624686
Lafayette6210119
Washington5342134
Bolivar4804132
Oktibbeha463298
Panola4601107
Pearl River4524146
Marshall4454103
Warren4397121
Pontotoc421172
Monroe4120133
Union411276
Neshoba4033176
Lincoln3972110
Hancock380287
Leflore3500125
Sunflower336490
Tate335484
Pike3330105
Scott316773
Alcorn313670
Yazoo311870
Itawamba300877
Copiah297865
Coahoma295979
Simpson295388
Tippah289068
Adams288682
Prentiss280360
Marion269680
Leake268673
Wayne262941
Grenada261987
Covington260381
George249448
Newton246963
Winston227881
Tishomingo227567
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw208457
Holmes189174
Clay185654
Stone183033
Tallahatchie179041
Clarke178180
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164838
Smith162734
Walthall134345
Greene130633
Lawrence129324
Montgomery127242
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121929
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107233
Tunica105726
Claiborne102530
Benton100125
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67631
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 540267

Reported Deaths: 11038
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson798791529
Mobile41295809
Madison35175506
Tuscaloosa25932455
Shelby25309249
Montgomery24736593
Baldwin21422310
Lee15997172
Calhoun14577319
Morgan14431280
Etowah13927353
Marshall12280225
Houston10650282
Elmore10158206
Limestone10075151
St. Clair9955245
Cullman9773194
Lauderdale9465243
DeKalb8866188
Talladega8344176
Walker7261278
Autauga7010108
Jackson6840112
Blount6776139
Colbert6322135
Coffee5583118
Dale4878113
Russell445938
Chilton4383113
Franklin426382
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4044153
Escambia395177
Chambers3598123
Dallas3569153
Clarke351561
Marion3140101
Pike312077
Lawrence303698
Winston275873
Bibb264864
Geneva254178
Marengo249865
Pickens234862
Barbour232056
Hale224078
Butler219069
Fayette213162
Henry190043
Cherokee184845
Randolph182542
Monroe178241
Washington167839
Macon161350
Clay157257
Crenshaw153657
Cleburne149641
Lamar143336
Lowndes140753
Wilcox127430
Bullock123342
Conecuh110829
Coosa109228
Perry107826
Sumter105032
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
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