House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., on Monday said he would hold off on contempt proceedings for officials in President Donald Trump's administration because the Justice Department had begun sharing special counsel Robert Mueller's "most important files" with lawmakers.
House Democrats had threatened to hold Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt for failing to comply with subpoenas. A vote was expected for Tuesday in the House.
But Nadler said in a statement Monday that, "Given our conversations with the Department, I will hold the criminal contempt process in abeyance for now."
Nadler's committee had subpoenaed Barr to hand over the unredacted version of Mueller's report on Russian election meddling, possible coordination with Trump's 2016 campaign and possible obstruction of justice by Trump himself. It also asked for the underlying evidence that was used as the basis for Mueller's report.
The committee subpoenaed McGahn, who was one of the most-cited witnesses in the 448-page report, to testify before the committee. The White House directed McGahn not to comply with that subpoena.
Nadler's statement did not suggest that the DOJ had agreed to hand over the entire report without any redaction, which the department has argued would violate federal rules about revealing grand jury testimony. A spokeswoman for the DOJ did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment on Nadler's statement.
Mueller found insufficient evidence to show coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. He declined to conclude whether the president obstructed justice but noted that the report did not exonerate him. Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined, based on the Mueller report, that there wasn't enough evidence to support an obstruction offense.
Read Nadler's full statement below:
"I am pleased to announce that the Department of Justice has agreed to begin complying with our committee's subpoena by opening Robert Mueller's most important files to us, providing us with key evidence that the Special Counsel used to assess whether the President and others obstructed justice or were engaged in other misconduct. The Department will share the first of these documents with us later today. All members of the Judiciary Committee—Democrats and Republicans alike—will be able to view them. These documents will allow us to perform our constitutional duties and decide how to respond to the allegations laid out against the President by the Special Counsel.
"Given our conversations with the Department, I will hold the criminal contempt process in abeyance for now. We have agreed to allow the Department time to demonstrate compliance with this agreement. If the Department proceeds in good faith and we are able to obtain everything that we need, then there will be no need to take further steps. If important information is held back, then we will have no choice but to enforce our subpoena in court and consider other remedies. It is critical that Congress is able to obtain the information we need to do our jobs, ensuring no one is above the law and bringing the American public the transparency they deserve."