Despite the polls showing Americas are against impeachment, and continued Russia investigations, many Democrats just can’t seem to let it go.
The Hill reported that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) is threatening a contempt citation against Attorney General William Barr if the Justice Department (DOJ) does not comply with a subpoena for special counsel Robert Mueller’s unredacted report.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday evening, Nadler said that if he is unable to reach a “reasonable” agreement with the DOJ “in the next day or two,” he would seek a contempt citation against Barr.
“I will continue to work with the attorney general to reach a reasonable accommodation on the access to the full report and the underlying evidence — but not for much longer,” Nadler said. “There are many questions that must be answered.”
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The Democrats are up in arms, and claim Barr is “terrified” to testify, forgetting he testified on Wednesday in front of a Senate hearing.
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The House Judiciary Committee has been informed that Attorney General Bill Barr will not testify at a planned hearing Thursday, an aide to the panel told Fox News — even as the Democrats who lead the committee vowed to hold the hearing anyway, and threatened a possible contempt citation against Barr.
The prospect of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y, gaveling a hearing with an empty chair came hours after Barr endured withering questioning from the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier in the day.
Democratic Caucus chairman Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said Wednesday afternoon that Democrats “plan on subpoenaing” Barr “if he decides not to show up.”
“He can run but he can’t hide,” Jeffries said.
A key sticking point was that Nadler wants to have House Judiciary Committee staff — rather than members of Congress — question Barr on his handling of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. But DOJ officials said members should conduct the inquiry, and it was unclear why Democrats did not propose having staffers simply provide questions to members during the hearing.
In remarks to reporters Wednesday afternoon, Nadler said Democrats had “worked around the clock” to address Barr’s concerns, and slammed what he called Barr’s “lack of candor.”
“He’s trying to blackmail the committee into not following the most effective means of eliciting the information we need,” Nadler said. “He is terrified of having to face a skilled attorney.”
Nadler also said the DOJ had Although Barr has not yet been subpoenaed to testify, Nadler said contempt citations could be possible down the road not only if the full Mueller report is not released, but also if Barr does not comply with a possible future subpoena. The move would not be unprecedented: Republicans in the House held Obama Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt in 2012, after he refused to provide information on the failed failed gun-running sting known as “Fast and Furious.”
“It’s a shame Members of the House Judiciary Committee won’t get the opportunity to hear from Attorney General Barr this Thursday, because Chairman Nadler chose to torpedo our hearing,” House Judiciary Committee ranking member Doug Collins, R-Ga., said in a statement. “The attorney general gave clear, informative testimony in the Senate Wednesday, as he offered to do more than a month ago in the House tomorrow.
“By rejecting the chance to question Attorney General Barr or read the materials he’s provided, Democrats are trying to prolong an investigation the special counsel completed,” Collins continued. “Ultimately, though, they’re ignoring the will of the majority of Americans who want Congress to move on and secure our border and continue to strengthen our economy.”
“We’re not torpedoeing this hearing,” Nadler countered, responding to Collins’ remarks. He added that Barr has a “nerve” to challenge the panel’s ability to conduct its own hearing.
Speaking to Fox News’ “Hannity” Wednesday night, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham focused on the larger context.
“Well, to all my friends on the other side: We gave Mueller two years to do his job,” Graham said. “He had 19 lawyers. He had $25 million, he interviewed 500 people, he issued 2,000 subpoenas. He had plenty of opportunity without interference. The president gave him a million and a half documents. Everybody around the president and on the president’s campaign testified voluntarily, and here’s what we know: There was no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians at all. Mueller could not decide — chose not to press forward on obstruction. I always thought the obstruction argument was absurd. It is over, and the reason they are mad at Barr and me is because they didn’t get the outcome they want. My friends on the other side want an outcome, and they don’t care how they get it.”denied House Democrats’ request for the full and unredacted Mueller report, and said compliance with congressional subpoenas is “not optional.”