U.S. House committee votes to hold Trump AG Barr in contempt

Colorado's Rep. Joe Neguse: 'We have no choice ...'

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 08: House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO) speaks during a mark-up hearing before its members voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for not providing an un-redacted copy of special prosecutor Robert Mueller's report in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill May 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 08: House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO) speaks during a mark-up hearing before committee members voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for not providing an un-redacted copy of special prosecutor Robert Mueller's report.(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, escalating the war between the Trump administration and House Democrats.

The committee voted 24-16 along party lines to approve a resolution recommending that the full U.S. House find Barr in contempt for his refusal to comply with a committee subpoena seeking an unredacted copy of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report detailing Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The vote came after a full day of partisan sniping on Capitol Hill and after President Trump asserted executive privilege over the report, further infuriating the House Democratic majority.

“This is not a step we take lightly,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said at the kickoff of the hearing Wednesday morning. He called the attempt to invoke privilege a “clear escalation in the Trump administration’s blanket defiance” of Congress and the latest example of “unprecedented obstruction” by the president and his allies.

In the hours leading up to the vote, House Republicans defended Trump and Barr, depicting the Democrats’ push for more details about Mueller’s findings as the latest chapter in an attempt to score political points by bashing the president.

“This is all about impeaching the president,” said Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz. “Why don’t [Democrats] just say it? Why don’t they just jump to the impeachment proceedings like their liberal media overlords are telling them to do? Well, the reason is that the American people don’t support impeachment.”

Gaetz was the lone member of the committee to miss the final vote on the contempt resolution late on Wednesday. He missed the vote because he was traveling on Air Force One with Trump en route to Florida, according to his spokesman Luke Ball.

Because Democrats have the majority on the committee, the party-line approval of the contempt resolution was all but certain. Still, lawmakers seized the opportunity to trade barbs over the findings of the Mueller report.

Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) said that, given the threats to U.S. democracy from a foreign adversary that were revealed in the Mueller report, he was “at a loss for understanding” why his GOP colleagues wouldn’t join Democrats’ efforts to secure the full Mueller report and underlying evidence. “We have no choice but to move forward with a contempt citation,” he said.

Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Madeleine Dean warned, “We are at a grave moment.” She added, “Our constitutional system of government is in jeopardy. We have to make sure that we protect the rule of law. We are up against an administration that cares nothing for the rule of law, cares only for self, and we need to see the entire Mueller report. Mr. Barr has given away his credibility here.”

Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) said Barr has “betrayed his oath to uphold the law and defend the constitution.” Demings has publicly called for Barr’s resignation in light of the reports that Mueller complained to Barr that he had misrepresented the report’s findings.

“We have more than enough reason to be here and to take this action. The special counsel’s report documents a pattern of criminal and corrupt behavior and makes it clear if it were not for the Department of Justice rule, had the subject of this investigation been any other person, any other man or woman, he or she would have been charged,” Demings said.

Republicans, meanwhile, accused their Democratic colleagues of rushing to hold Barr in contempt to rebuke a president whose policies they dislike.

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) urged his colleagues to “move on and not attack the attorney general in this way.”

“I think that my Democratic colleagues are still in denial that the president was actually elected,” said Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.).

Rep. Ben Cline (R-Va.) said Democrats are “in search of a smoking gun of collusion, conspiracy with Russia that does not exist.” He added, “This is a charade, and I have never seen anything like it.”

The contempt resolution will now head to the House floor. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that Barr should be held in contempt of Congress and “nothing is off table” regarding whether to impeach him, CNBC reported.


  1. I totally disagree with you and your fellow Democrats. Mr. Mueller’s report showed NOCOLLUSION of the Trump campaign.
    Mueller went on NOT to INDICT President Trump for obstruction. End of Story.
    Mr .Nadler and other High ranking Democrats are free to read the Mueller report with only redactions that included testimony from the grand jury. It is available to read, they are just using this as an excuse to keep crying “wolf” against President Trump. Attorney General Barr has done NOTHING wrong. He has followed the law and released more than he ever had to release. Democrats are only interested in destroying his integrity.

    I am ashamed of the way Mr. Barr was treated by Democrats in the hearing in the Senate.His decision to refuse to come to the House and be subjected to questioning by lawyers for t he Congressmen is ludicrous. Most of you are lawyers. Are you incapable of asking questions yourself? If so, you should resign .
    Attorney General Barr is being chastised for following the law.He is seeking answers for how and who orchestrated this investigation in the beginning. Democrats have been screaming impeachment for two years. YOU have NO impeachable evidence. N O Collusion , No obstruction. You are all sore losers who wanted Clinton to be president and did not get it. She lied cheated and stole from our country and she refused to secure the safety of our Ambassador Stevens and others while compromising our national security and Helping Obama sell enriched uranium to Putin. Her husband lied to Congress and underwent Impeachment and was saved by one vote(a Democrat).Americans elected President Donald Trump . Get over yourselves! We will soon learn who ordered the spying done by Obama’s justice department. Those people sh ould be h eld criminally responsible for their actions.

  2. com·plic·i·ty
    the state of being involved with others in an illegal activity or wrongdoing.
    Synonyms include in cahoots, partners in crime, Republicans.

  3. Nothing at all ever happened to AG Eric Holder when he was held in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over documents related to the botched Operation Fast & Furious gun-running sting, which led directly to the death of one US Border Patrol agent and numerous Mexican citizens across the border. Just my opinion, but I think Holder should be in a federal prison right now.

    The truth is that the whole Russia, Russia, Russia deal is starting to backfire on the instigators of the failed coup attempt against the current president, who won the 2016 election with 300+ electoral votes. The DOJ Inspector General’s report into what the corrupt actors in the DOJ and FBI were doing is due any day now, and two US Attorneys have been investigating other aspects of the witch-hunt. Still, most Democrats and mainstream media sources cling to the phony narrative. Don’t be surprised if some of these crooks from the Obama administration days are indicted for their felonious conduct right here in America (not for so-called process crimes or crooked business dealings in Ukraine well over a decade ago).

    Bill Barr doesn’t need anyone’s help in sticking up for himself. (I sort of feel sorry for the Dems attacking him.)

    Btw, I still depise Trump’s personality, but I agree with most of his administration’s policies at home and abroad.

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