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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: 473413

Reported Deaths: 9214
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32339474
Hinds30703575
DeSoto29814346
Jackson23263336
Rankin21111358
Lee14600217
Madison14043265
Jones13165218
Forrest12953233
Lauderdale11418297
Lowndes10249175
Lamar10048128
Pearl River8737209
Lafayette8078136
Hancock7324111
Washington6837147
Oktibbeha6820118
Neshoba6404201
Monroe6372158
Warren6326161
Pontotoc610393
Panola6071124
Bolivar6016143
Marshall5972118
Union564086
Pike5491133
Lincoln5232130
Alcorn520888
George457868
Scott451993
Leflore4401140
Prentiss437276
Itawamba436198
Tippah436180
Simpson4268111
Copiah425586
Wayne424863
Tate4234100
Adams4219114
Yazoo415886
Sunflower4088104
Covington407391
Marion4032100
Leake393185
Coahoma388198
Newton364474
Grenada3517101
Stone345657
Tishomingo324888
Attala321185
Jasper310262
Winston300391
Clay288273
Chickasaw282164
Clarke277487
Calhoun259739
Holmes259485
Smith243947
Yalobusha216747
Tallahatchie215649
Walthall205557
Greene204045
Lawrence203831
Perry196453
Amite193751
Webster191941
Noxubee174538
Montgomery169853
Jefferson Davis165541
Carroll159937
Tunica148434
Benton139433
Kemper137439
Claiborne125634
Choctaw124925
Humphreys123337
Franklin115227
Quitman101825
Wilkinson99835
Jefferson86632
Sharkey62120
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 768301

Reported Deaths: 13209
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1093481727
Mobile699891179
Madison48418589
Baldwin35707452
Shelby35193291
Tuscaloosa33029512
Montgomery32582664
Lee21908204
Calhoun20140377
Morgan19351318
Etowah18583433
Marshall17272259
Houston16139353
St. Clair14956276
Limestone14129180
Cullman14069235
Elmore14010245
Lauderdale13128272
Talladega12399215
DeKalb11890229
Walker10231312
Autauga9493127
Blount9418149
Jackson9115136
Coffee8646161
Colbert8324169
Dale8284159
Escambia6456106
Tallapoosa6394168
Covington6313157
Chilton6243133
Russell591654
Franklin563597
Chambers5240132
Marion4628115
Dallas4626178
Clarke451471
Pike450091
Geneva4252106
Winston407987
Lawrence4046102
Bibb396177
Barbour338968
Marengo320981
Monroe311547
Butler309783
Pickens298769
Randolph294055
Henry293856
Hale286081
Cherokee279850
Fayette272271
Washington243545
Crenshaw232265
Clay221561
Macon214454
Cleburne209748
Lamar187839
Conecuh177139
Lowndes169056
Coosa163631
Wilcox154335
Bullock147142
Perry134235
Sumter123335
Greene119241
Choctaw72325
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