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

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Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
Lauderdale3663147
Lafayette341053
Washington3321108
Lamar301950
Oktibbeha255262
Lowndes252867
Bolivar248084
Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
Pontotoc208131
Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
Alcorn159328
Pearl River158969
Coahoma155943
Prentiss154931
Simpson154053
Adams147252
Grenada145445
Leake141844
Holmes134461
Covington130040
Tippah130030
George129525
Winston128726
Hancock127641
Wayne123024
Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
Tallahatchie99427
Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
DeKalb504738
Cullman472043
St. Clair451857
Limestone447546
Lauderdale436054
Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
Coosa3724
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