The Release of Russian Documents and an Announcement of a Russian Summit

In a 226-183 vote the House of Representatives voted today to pass a non-binding resolution insisting that the Justice Department hand over documents about the ongoing Russia investigation by next Friday.  Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the leader of the Freedom Caucus and author of the resolution stated; "When we get these documents, we believe that it will do away with this whole fiasco of what they call the Russian-Trump collusion because there wasn't any.” The House issued a statement indicating that if the DOJ fails to comply they would take their resolution to the next level and hold the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein in contempt of Congress or impeach him, which is less likely to happen. House Democrats are asserting this is an attempt by the Republicans to discredit the Russia Investigation and Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The resolution also seeks information on the 2016 investigation in to the Clinton Foundation and Hillary’s used of a private email while acting as Secretary of State, and investigation which is now closed. Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee stated that there is no legal right for House members to view documents related to the Russia investigation and asserted that “(Republicans) likely view this impossible request as a win-win proposition," Nadler said. "If they somehow bully the Department of Justice into turning over materials that go to the core of Special Counsel Mueller's investigation, that information...probably would be shared with the subjects of the investigation, mainly President Trump."

The White House announced today that Trump will meet with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin on July 16 in Helsinki, Finland. The details of the summit were announced after President Putin hosted U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton for talks in Moscow this week; “I don’t think that we expect necessarily any specific outcomes or decisions….It’s important after the length of time that has gone by without a bilateral summit like this to allow them to cover all the issues they choose.” At the beginning of their talks Putin told Bolton that “Your visit to Moscow gives us hope that we can make at least the first steps toward restoring full-scale relations between our countries” and Kremlin foreign-policy aide Yuri Ushakov added to the President’ statement by telling reporters that the summit “is of huge significance...It will be the main international event of the summer.” There were not specific list topics released for the summit today but the White House is quoted as saying “there are a broad range of issues the president’s going to talk about that need to be addressed” including “economic relationship with the United States and Russia and countries of the world, and Trump stated that he would potentially discuss Syria and Ukraine among the many subjects of the summit. His list did not include warnings from U.S. intelligence officials that Russia will try to interfere in U.S. congressional elections in November.