According to new reports, House Democrats, lead by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, have officially begun their attempts at holding US Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with repeated subpoenas.
Democrats introduced a resolution to hold both Barr and former White House adviser Don McGahn in contempt, with a full House vote expected by Tuesday.
In the wake of the Mueller report, which cleared President Trump of Russian collusion allegations, House Democrats have increasingly turned their ire towards Barr, and have repeatedly touted the idea of holding him in contempt of Congress.
From The Hill:
House Democrats have officially introduced a resolution to hold Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with congressional subpoenas.
The contempt resolution allows House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) to go to court to seek civil enforcement of the subpoena for Barr to turn over special counsel Robert Mueller’s unredacted report and underlying evidence, as well as for McGahn to provide documents and public testimony.
The resolution also gives any committee chair the rare power to go to federal court to seek civil enforcement of subpoenas, both current and future orders, so long as they are granted approval by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group.
The House Rules Committee is expected to mark up the resolution to hold Barr and McGahn in contempt on Monday, according to a Democratic congressional aide, and the full House is slated to vote on the resolution Tuesday.
The measure, introduced by Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), comes as Democrats accuse the White House of unprecedented efforts to stonewall their legitimate investigations into President Trumpand his administration. The White House has accused Democrats of trying to score political points against Trump ahead of the 2020 election.
Nadler subpoenaed Barr for the full Mueller report in April following its release. The Justice Department has so far refused to turn over the full report and underlying evidence, arguing that doing so would amount to Barr violating the law by releasing grand jury material and compromising ongoing investigations.
Instead, Barr has offered for a select group of lawmakers, including Nadler, to view a less-redacted version of the report provided they keep its contents confidential. Democrats have rejected this arrangement as too limited.
The fight reached a fever pitch last month, as the Judiciary panel voted along party lines to hold Barr in contempt and Trump asserted executive privilege over the subpoenaed materials on the attorney general’s recommendation.
Separately, the committee had subpoenaed McGahn for documents and public testimony, but he has refused to comply on instructions from the White House.
McGahn didn’t show up for a public hearing on May 21 after Trump told him not to testify, citing a Justice Department legal opinion that the former official is immune from compelled congressional testimony.
The plans to vote on the resolution mark a dramatic escalation in Democrats’ battle with the Trump administration.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, voiced concern that such a measure will pull power away from the full House and concentrate it in the power of five top House leaders — three top Democrats and two top Republicans — to decide.
“The resolution takes power away from the 435 members of the House by giving only five members a vote for whether a chairman can sue to enforce subpoenas,” Collins said in a statement. “In their zeal for Article II information, Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Nadler are skipping key steps on the road to that material. I fear House Democrats may be doing immeasurable harm to our Article 1 powers by taking weak cases to court.”