The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for not giving the committee special counsel Robert Mueller’s full, unredacted report.
The committee, led by New York Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler, originally gave Barr a deadline of 9 a.m. Monday to turn in the full report with no redactions, which many Republicans believe would be dangerous due to the possibly sensitive material, which could be leaked.
Nadler scheduled the congressional contempt vote for Wednesday at 10 a.m. All Democrats present voted to hold Barr in contempt of Congress.
The Department of Justice sent a letter to the committee Tuesday night, telling members it would recommend President Donald Trump use executive privilege to the full Mueller report or any documents related.
“If the committee decides to proceed in spite of this request, however, the Attorney General will advise the President to make a protective assertion of executive privilege,” Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote in the letter.
Since the committee voted to accept the report, holding Barr in contempt, the resolution now will go to the House floor for a full vote to authorize legal action.
“Even in redacted form, the Special Counsel’s report offers disturbing evidence and analysis that President Trump engaged in obstruction of justice at the highest levels. Congress must see the full report and underlying evidence to determine how to best move forward with oversight, legislation, and other constitutional responsibilities,” Nadler said in a statement Monday.
“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. If the Department presents us with a good faith offer for access to the full report and the underlying evidence, I reserve the right to postpone these proceedings,” Nadler continued.
House Judiciary Committee ranking member Doug Collins blasted Nadler in a Monday statement, saying Nadler’s request would require Barr to break the law.
“Chairman Nadler knows full subpoena compliance requires Attorney General Barr to break the law. Yet, instead of introducing legislation allowing the attorney general to provide Congress grand jury material, Democrats move to hold him in contempt,” Collins, a Georgia Republican, said in a statement Monday.
“They know the Justice Department is working to negotiate even as they pursue contempt charges, making their move today illogical and disingenuous. 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 continued.
Democrats and cable news pundits have said the Mueller report is a cover-up.
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