“We’re going to move forward with our investigation into obstruction of justice, abuses of power, corruption, to defend the rule of law, which is our job,” Mr. Nadler told reporters in New York afterward. “It’s a broader mandate than the special prosecutor has. His mandate is only for crimes.”
Mr. Nadler said he rejected Mr. Trump’s claim of vindication, and zeroed in on Mr. Barr, whom he described as having prejudged the matter of obstruction.
“He auditioned for his job by writing a 19-page memorandum giving a very extreme view of obstruction of justice in presidential power and saying basically no president can commit obstruction of justice,” Mr. Nadler said, referring to a memo Mr. Barr wrote in June 2018 about executive authority. Mr. Nadler pledged to use every tool at his disposal to gain access to the full report and evidence — the public release of which Mr. Barr said Sunday raised challenges given grand jury and other sensitive information.
Mr. Nadler’s committee is not the only one scrutinizing the president and his administration. Since they took control of the House, Democrats have been investigating Mr. Trump’s businesses, his role in hush money payments during the campaign to a pornographic film actress who claimed to have had an affair with him, accusations of corruption in various federal agencies and other topics.
“I don’t know that any of our investigations depended on the red herring concept of collusion between the Trump campaign and Putin’s forces,” Representative Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat and former constitutional law professor, said in an interview, referring to a series of ongoing investigations into numerous aspects of the Trump White House and Mr. Trump’s businesses.
The collusion theory is the basis, at least in part, for the House Intelligence Committee’s own investigation of Russian election interference, and it was less clear on Sunday how Democrats leading that panel would incorporate Mr. Mueller’s definitive conclusion that there had been no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia to undermine the 2016 election. Then again, the committee’s chairman, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, had in a sense already built in a response, framing his inquiry as not just about Russia, but any other foreign powers that could have financial or other leverage over Mr. Trump and his associates.
At least on the question of impeachment — a constitutional remedy so grave it has been pursued seriously against a president only twice in modern American history — the outlook appeared to be clearer. Mr. Nadler and Ms. Pelosi, students of the failed Republican attempt to remove Bill Clinton from office in the 1990s, have warned repeatedly that they would not go down that path unaccompanied by Republicans.