DOJ and House Democrats to Meet Ahead of Barr Contempt Proceedings
Should House Democrats hold Barr in contempt?
by Countable | 5.6.19
Update - May 7, 2019:
- House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) has agreed to meet with Justice Department officials on Tuesday to try and "negotiate an accommodation" on releasing an unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
- The DOJ agreed to move the meeting from Wednesday to Tuesday.
- Nadler has scheduled a vote on Wednesday for the House Judiciary committee to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over the full report.
- “It remains vital that the Committee obtain access to the full, unredacted report and the underlying materials,” Nadler said in a statement Monday night. “At the moment, our plans to consider holding [Barr] accountable for his failure to comply with our subpoena still stand."
"My hope is that we make concrete progress at tomorrow’s meeting towards resolving this dispute. The Committee remains committed to finding a reasonable accommodation," Nadler said.
Countable's original story appears below.
What’s the story?
- House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) scheduled a Wednesday vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena for special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
- Nadler set Wednesday's vote after Barr failed to meet Monday's 9 a.m. deadline to comply with a subpoena to provide Congress with Mueller's full, unredacted report and underlying evidence.
What are people saying?
- “The attorney general’s failure to comply with our subpoena, after extensive accommodation efforts, leaves us no choice but to initiate contempt proceedings in order to enforce the subpoena and access the full, unredacted report,” Nadler said in a statement.
“Attorney General Barr failed to comply with the committee's request for these documents and thereby has hindered the committee's constitutional, oversight and legislative functions,” the committee's contempt citation states.
- The citation also references the Justice Department’s policy against indicting a sitting president, a policy Mueller cited as part of his decision to decline charging Trump with obstruction of justice.
“Congress is therefore the only body able to hold the president to account for improper conduct in our tripartite system, and urgently requires the subpoenaed material to determine whether and how to proceed with its constitutional duty to provide checks and balances on the president and executive branch,” the citation states. “Otherwise, the president remains insulated from legal consequences and sits above the law.”
- In response to the contempt notice, the committee’s top Republican, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, called Nadler’s move “illogical and disingenuous” since the DOJ is still negotiating with the panel.
“Democrats have launched a proxy war smearing the attorney general when their anger actually lies with the president and the special counsel, who found neither conspiracy nor obstruction,” Collins said in a statement.
What do you think?
Should Barr be held in contempt? Or is the threat “illogical and disingenuous”? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.
(Photo courtesy the Department of Justice)
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