House Democrats plan to move forward next week with a vote to hold U.S. Attorney General William Barr and White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress, despite signaling two weeks ago that they were moving away from such a vote.
Politico reported that Barr would be held in contempt for refusing to break the law and provide Congress with a fully unredacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in 2016. The report found that the campaign did not collude with Russia. The report contains grand jury material, which cannot be revealed by law. House Democrats are demanding Barr break this law and are threatening to hold him in contempt for refusing.
Democrats want to hold McGahn in contempt for refusing to testify in front of the House Judiciary Committee after receiving a subpoena.
The coming vote is supported by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other leaders of the party. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said in a statement:
“This Administration’s systematic refusal to provide Congress with answers and cooperate with Congressional subpoenas is the biggest cover-up in American history, and Congress has a responsibility to provide oversight on behalf of the American people.”
Two weeks ago, The Daily Wire reported on a letter Barr sent to House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), in which the attorney general outlined what his department was doing to accommodate the Democrats and said that they would get nothing if they held him in contempt.
“To be clear, should the Committee take the precipitous and unnecessary action of recommending a contempt finding or other enforcement action against the AG, then the Department [of Justice] will not likely be able to continue to work with the Committee to accommodate its interests in these materials,” Barr wrote.
At that time, Schiff appeared to back off his threat, Reuters reported.
As Politico reported, this vote “would clear the way for the House Judiciary Committee to take Barr and McGahn to court to enforce their subpoenas.” As the Wire previously reported, Barr’s letter to Schiff provides documentation of the steps the AG has taken to accommodate lawmakers. Should House Democrats continue with their contempt vote and take Barr to court, Barr would likely win — as he has appeared reasonable and accommodating while Democrats have just cried foul.
Politico reported that the House Judiciary Committee already voted in May to hold Barr in contempt after he ignored a request to provide the fully unredacted Mueller report and underlying evidence. Barr, as stated above, maintains that he is barred by law from disclosing grand jury material, to which Democrats have demanded he obtain a “judge’s order to waive grand jury secrecy rules,” Politico reported.
This is all an attempt to set up an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. Mueller’s report didn’t include an indictment of the president, nor did it conclude the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to steal the election.
Politico reported that Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are also ready to hold Barr in contempt, along with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, for not complying with a subpoena regarding a citizenship question on the 2020 census.