House Committee Readies Contempt Vote Against Barr

Aaron Bernstein/Reuters

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee prepared to move forward on Wednesday with a contempt citation against Attorney General William Barr for defying a congressional subpoena demanding access to the full, unredacted Mueller report.

In the latest escalation of a battle between Democrats and Republican President Donald Trump, the panel was set to meet at 10 a.m. and vote on a resolution recommending that the full House of Representatives find Barr in contempt of Congress. Committee staff and Justice Department officials worked behind the scenes in hopes of a deal to avert the proceedings.

“Still scheduled,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler told reporters when asked if the committee vote would go forward as planned, following talks with Justice Department officials that made little headway on Tuesday.

Barr released a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his 22-month investigation into Russian election meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Nadler subpoenaed the full document and underlying evidence, saying the material is necessary for lawmakers to determine whether Trump obstructed justice by trying to upend the Mueller probe. Barr missed two subpoena deadlines for turning over the material, the latest on Monday.

“We remain unanimously determined on our side of the aisle to get the unredacted report, as we’ve demanded,” Representative Jamie Raskin, a Democrat on Nadler’s committee, told reporters.

The redacted Mueller report details extensive contacts between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Moscow, but did not find there was a conspiracy between Moscow and the campaign. The report also describes actions Trump took to try to impede Mueller’s investigation.

The fight over the full report is just one battle in a growing struggle between Trump and the Democrats probing him, his business interests and his administration that seems to be headed inexorably for the courts, presenting political risks for both sides headed into the 2020 presidential and congressional elections.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration stymied a separate effort by House Judiciary Committee Democrats to subpoena records from former White House counsel Don McGahn, directing him not to provide the documents sought by the panel.

McGahn was a star witness in Mueller’s Russian investigation, as well as Trump’s subsequent attempts to impede the probe.

Mueller’s report said McGahn told investigators that Trump unsuccessfully pressured him to remove Mueller and then asked him to deny that Trump had done so. The accounts are based partly on the documents sought by House Democrats.

The Trump administration has refused to cooperate with congressional probes in at least a half-dozen instances, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s decision on Monday to deny a request for Trump’s tax returns from the Democratic chairman of the House tax committee.

But in a rare show of bipartisanship, Democrats and Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee pressed the Justice Department and the FBI, in an April 25 letter, to turn over an unredacted copy of the Mueller report and “all classified and unclassified” evidence relating to foreign spying or counterintelligence.

Congressional officials circulated copies of the letter on Tuesday. One official said the panel would soon begin a “compulsory” process to obtain the material unless there was more cooperation from the Justice Department.

(Reporting by David Morgan; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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Marlene Marty Fowler-helfrick
Member

Basically Nadler is charging Barr with contempt for not breaking the law.

Mary Ridosh-Spalding
Member

I tired of MY DAMN TAX dollars paying for this crap, if these degenerate democrats want to continue this BS witch hunt make the expenses come out of THEIR MILLION DOLLAR pockets!!!

James
Member

Nadler’s “contempt of Congress” game is useless unless or until he initiates impeachment proceedings against AG Barr. Nadler MIGHT be smart enough (doubtful) to know impeachment of Barr won’t fly in the Senate or with Trump. Just more wasted time, noise and hot air from the Dimwit Party (“Dementia Party”)

Friend
Member

When Eric Holder who is still in contempt testifies maybe Barr will think about it.. Doubt that Demoncrap will ever do that!

Friend
Member

Mr. Barr, do not soil yourself consorting with the enemy. Just tell them all to F.O.A.D. and enjoy watching them melt down…

Allen Zabel
Member

Remarkably, they want questions answered by Barr, that he cannot answer, due to federal law.
Nadler, has the authority to read, the entire report, without redaction.
But as yet, has refused to do so,.
This is just political theater and American’s are growing tired of the childish antics.

Michael D. Rininger
Member

DEMINRATS are trying to get around the law,they know grand jury testimony has to be redacted as well as other classified parts. They just can’t seem to understand they list again. Just tell them to get over it an move on to more IMPORTANT matters

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