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Dems Take First Step in Attempt To Hold Attorney General William Barr in Contempt

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The House Judiciary Committee announced Monday that a measure to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress is to be considered for motion to the House floor later this week.

The panel is set to vote on the resolution — which cites Barr’s unwillingness to comply with a subpoena for special counsel Robert Mueller’s full and unredacted Russia investigation report and ancillary documents — on Wednesday.

“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,” committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said in a statement announcing the vote.

The subpoena came last month in response to Barr’s announcement that only a redacted version of the special counsel’s report would be released to Congress and the public.

Barr said these redactions came primarily in the interest of protecting ongoing investigations and proprietary Department of Justice investigative techniques.

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He also noted that President Donald Trump did not invoke executive privilege to issue any redactions of his own at the time.

Still, House Democrats argue that the redacted version of Mueller’s report does not provide sufficient detail to allow the body to draw conclusions as to whether the president sought to illegally obstruct the investigation.

“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 resolution reads.

Do you think the House Democrats are out of line in taking action to hold Barr in contempt?

It indicates that the Judiciary Committee aims to investigate “alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by President Donald Trump, his associates, and members of his Administration and related concerns.”

Nadler said he would halt efforts to hold Barr in contempt should the administration make “good faith” efforts to comply with the House investigation.

House Democrats argue that without access to this information, lawmakers won’t be able to provide “checks and balances” on Trump and his administration.

Congress is “the only body able to hold the President to account for improper conduct in our tripartite system,” the resolution says, “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.

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“Otherwise, the President remains insulated from legal consequences and sits above the law.”

Trump, however, argues that efforts being made to investigate the matter further by subpoenaing documents and demanding that Barr and Mueller testify amount to nothing more than partisan efforts to attain a “redo” on using the Russian collusion narrative to delegitimize his presidency.

He derided House Democrats’ efforts in a series of tweets Sunday.

“After spending more than $35,000,000 over a two year period, interviewing 500 people, using 18 Trump Hating Angry Democrats & 49 FBI Agents – all culminating in a more than 400 page Report showing NO COLLUSION,” Trump wrote. “Why would the Democrats in Congress now need Robert Mueller to testify. Are they looking for a redo because they hated seeing the strong NO COLLUSION conclusion?

“There was no crime, except on the other side (incredibly not covered in the Report), and NO OBSTRUCTION. Bob Mueller should not testify. No redos for the Dems!”

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Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal. Having joined up as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, he went on to cover the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for the outlet, regularly co-hosting its video podcast, "WJ Live," as well.
Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal and regularly co-hosted the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."

Sciascia first joined up with The Western Journal as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, before graduating with a degree in criminal justice and political science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and worked briefly as a political operative with the Massachusetts Republican Party.

He covered the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for The Western Journal. His work has also appeared in The Daily Caller.




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