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U.S. Politics U.S. House panel, Justice Department end standoff over Mueller documents

The House Intelligence Committee pulled back on Wednesday from threats to enforce a subpoena against Attorney General William Barr after the Justice Department agreed to turn over materials relating to an investigation into Russian election interference.

The decision ended a standoff between the Democratic-led committee and the Justice Department for access to counter-intelligence reports generated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller during his probe of President Donald Trump and his associates.

The dispute, one of many between the Republican administration and the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, has come as Trump refuses to co-operate with numerous congressional probes into matters ranging from his personal finances and business dealings to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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“The Department of Justice has accepted our offer of a first step towards compliance with our subpoena, and this week will begin turning over to the Committee twelve categories of counter-intelligence and foreign intelligence materials as part of an initial rolling production,” U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, the committee chairman, said on Wednesday.

Schiff cancelled a committee meeting to consider enforcement action on Wednesday.

Barr, the top U.S. law enforcement official and a Trump appointee, on May 2 snubbed the House intelligence committee, which voted to hold him in contempt of Congress for not handing over a full, unredacted Mueller report.

In a letter to Schiff on Tuesday, the Justice Department said it was willing to give Intelligence committee members and staff closed-door access to additional material if Schiff does not move forward with his threats to hold the department in contempt.

However, a request to the Justice Department from the Senate Intelligence committee for the same materials was still pending, a congressional source said.

The White House has accused Democrats of playing politics with the congressional probes.

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