House Judiciary holds Barr in contempt

Source: Politico | May 8, 2019 | Andrew Desiderio and Kyle Cheney

Trump earlier asserted executive privilege in a bid to block access to the unredacted Mueller report.

The House Judiciary Committee voted on Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over special counsel Robert Mueller’s unredacted report — the most significant escalation yet in the ongoing oversight battle between Democrats and the Trump administration.

The White House also invoked executive privilege over the report — a move intended to shield all of the underlying evidence — after House Democrats’ negotiations with the Justice Department to avoid a contempt vote broke down.

“Our exhaustive negotiations with the Department of Justice have, unfortunately, left us back where we began — with unprecedented obstruction by an administration that has now announced its intention to block all attempts at congressional oversight of the executive branch. It is our constitutional duty to respond,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the committee.

“No person — and certainly not the top law enforcement officer in the country — can be permitted to flout the will of Congress and to defy a valid subpoena,” Nadler added.

The panel approved the contempt resolution on party lines, with all Republicans opposing it. The measure now heads to the full House for final approval.

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