Democrats to launch contempt action against AG Barr Wednesday

07 Mai, 2019, 11:24 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • In Reversal Trump Says Mueller'Should Not Testify Before US Congress

Congressional Democrats moved closer on Monday to citing Attorney General William Barr for contempt of Congress over his failure to give them an unredacted version of the Mueller report, escalating a showdown with the White House.

Per Nadler's latest ultimatum, Barr and the Department of Justice had until Monday morning to comply with the demands.

Tension between Mr Barr and congressional Democrats is already high.

Barr's failure to comply "has hindered the Committee's constitutional, oversight and legislative functions", it adds.

Over the weekend, Trump changed his position and decided Mueller should not appear before Congress.

Barr skipped a House Judiciary Committee hearing last Thursday over the terms of the session, though he testified for hours a day earlier on the Senate side. On Friday, Trump told reporters it was up to Barr to decide if Mueller should testify.

Robert Mueller, as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington March 12, 2013.

"The Mueller report describes several acts that satisfy all of the elements for an obstruction charge: conduct that obstructed or attempted to obstruct the truth-finding process, as to which the evidence of corrupt intent and connection to pending proceedings is overwhelming".

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A few hours later, Trump posted some more Mueller-related tweets, comparing Mueller to fired FBI Director James Comey, slamming the Democrats' use of their committees as "bullying" their opponents, and highlighting the role Comey played in helping to get the Russian Federation collusion investigation rolling.

What does a contempt vote mean?

"By doing so, they're also trying to tear down the attorney general, who made the right call, who presented everything he was supposed to". If successful, it will then go before the full, Democrat-controlled House. Some committee members have suggested they also could fine Barr as he withholds the information.

Kupec said officials were continuing to engage with the committee, and Nadler's staff had been invited to the department "to discuss a mutually acceptable accommodation".

He said that if the Justice Department agrees to comply with Nadler's request by providing the full report, he would postpone the vote.

One analysis found that about 7% of the report was redacted, with the most material deleted about Russian attempts to influence the election in Trump's favor by posting false and misleading material on American social media accounts and Russia's role in hacking top Democrats' emails and releasing them to the public. They say they need the full report and the evidence that it cites, including witness interviews and "items such as contemporaneous notes". Nadler also wants every member of Congress to be able to read the full report.

Moreover, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd sent Nadler a five-page letter on May 1 explaining the reasons for not releasing the full unredacted report, according to USA Today.

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