The House Judiciary Committee scheduled a Wednesday vote to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena demanding he provide the full unredacted Mueller report.
Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler announced Monday that the panel will vote on a contempt citation against Barr after he missed the committee’s second deadline to turn over the unredacted report. The measure is expected to be approved by the Democratic majority on the committee, which would send it to the full Democratic-led House of Representatives for consideration.
“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,” Nadler said in a statement.
Democrats accuse Barr of obstruction:
The citation that Democrats plan to vote on alleges that Barr is obstructing the Congressional investigation into possible obstruction of justice by the president.
“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 citation says according to Politico.
“Congress is therefore the only body able to hold the president to account for improper conduct in our tripartite system, 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,” it adds. “Otherwise, the president remains insulated from legal consequences and sits above the law.”
What happens if AG is held in contempt?:
While the citation will likely pass the Democratic-led committee and House, the impact could merely be symbolic.
Republicans held Obama Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over administration documents but a judge ruled that jailing Holder was not realistic and called the contempt citation “entirely unnecessary.” The judge did rule that Holder had to turn over any “non-privileged” information to the committee, Politico reported.
Democrats have floated the idea of imposing financial fines on Barr until he turns over the report.