Schiff: ‘Prepared’ to force Mueller report release if White House blocks

California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said if President Donald Trump’s attorneys try to assert executive privilege to stop the public release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s eventual report, he would likely compel publication in some form.

“I’m prepared to make sure we do everything possible so that the public has the advantage of as much of the information as it can,” Schiff said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Schiff is expected to chair the House Intelligence Committee when Democrats take the chamber next month, and he said he would likely use his subpoena power to obtain and release Mueller’s eventual report if he needed to.

“Now, there may be parts of the report that have to be redacted because they involved classified information or they involve grand jury material,” Schiff said, adding, “This case is just too important to keep from the American people what it’s really about.”

In Sunday’s interview, Schiff also stressed his concern repeatedly about acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker. CNN reported previously that Whitaker disregarded the advice of a Justice Department ethics official to step aside from overseeing the Mueller probe and that Trump lashed out at Whitaker regarding the federal case against his former attorney Michael Cohen.

“This is exactly what we feared about Whitaker’s appointment,” Schiff said.

He also vowed to conduct oversight of Whitaker and inform the public about the man leading the Justice Department following the ouster of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had recused himself from oversight of the Russia investigation.

“We are going to scrutinize every single action by Matt Whitaker to make sure that the public knows just what he does,” Schiff said.