The House Oversight Committee will vote to hold Attorney General Bill Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in civil contempt for their defiance of subpoenas in the committee’s Census citizenship question investigation.
Chairman Elijah Cummings sent Barr and Ross letters Monday informing them the committee was scheduling the contempt vote.
The letters give the two officials one last chance to, by June 6, produce the documents the committee demanded.
The committee in April issued subpoenas for 11 key documents related to the decision to add the question. It also sought the testimony from Justice Department official John Gore, who was involved in writing a Justice Department request that the question be added. Gore sat down for a voluntary interview with the committee earlier this year but declined to answer certain questions on the instruction of the DOJ lawyer. The committee subpoenaed him for the full testimony, but he did not show up for the deposition on the instructions of the Department, which objected to the committee’s refusal to let a DOJ attorney sit in on the deposition.
The Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on June 10 on Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to Donald Trump’s campaign.
The committee will hear testimony from former U.S. attorneys and legal experts, including John Dean, a Trump critic and former White House counsel to President Richard Nixon who served a year in prison in connection with the Watergate scandal.
"We have learned so much even from the redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report," Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said in a statement.
"These hearings will allow us to examine the findings laid out in Mueller’s report so that we can work to protect the rule of law and protect future elections through consideration of legislative and other remedies," Nadler said.
In a 448-page, redacted report released in April, Mueller documented numerous occasions in which Trump sought to quash the probe, including by firing former FBI Director James Comey. Mueller ultimately did not reach a decision as to whether Trump had obstructed justice, however.
Trump adjacent, will not be included in the header, bookmark now.
The House Judiciary committee said Monday it is launching a “top-to-bottom” antitrust investigation of the tech industry, including Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Facebook(FB) and Google (GOOG), deepening a crisis for Silicon Valley’s largest players as they face mounting scrutiny in Washington over their power and influence.
The Democratic-led investigation comes as the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission are taking their first steps toward a potential probe of their own into Google, according to three people familiar with the matter. Regulators have negotiated to divide oversight of the tech industry between the two agencies in recent weeks, these people said. The two agencies have also reportedly split up oversight of Amazon, Apple and Facebook.
Long the darling of investors and politicians, the tech industry has come under intense pressure amid an array of privacy missteps, disinformation scandals and allegations of anti-competitive behavior. Industry critics such as Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a presidential candidate, have called for tough new regulations and demanded that the companies be broken up.
The vote has been scheduled for June 11th.
The House will vote next week to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena for special counsel Robert Mueller’s fully unredacted report and underlying evidence, according to multiple Democratic sources.
The resolution would clear the way for the House Judiciary Committee to take Barr to court to enforce its subpoena and settle the matter legally — a crucial step for Democrats seeking to accelerate their obstruction of justice investigation against President Donald Trump.
The vote, which will take place on June 11, will also include broad authority for congressional committees to take legal action against the Trump administration in future subpoena fights, the Democratic sources say. Democrats are still discussing whether to include former White House counsel Don McGahn in the resolution.
It’s a significant acceleration of Democrats’ confrontation with the White House and Barr, who has become the president’s leading defender on matters connected to Mueller’s report.
I just want to clarify that this is a different contempt hearing for Barr than the one happening in the Oversight Committee. That’s right there are two! This one is the OG, grand daddy contempt charge for not releasing the full Mueller Report to Congress.
This is the vote that Barr was hoping to swap out some ‘gives’ (intelligence reports) to the Democrats. Go on and vote guys…that’s the way!
No, that’s the House Intelligence Committee. This is the Judiciary Committee. This the committee that can call for impeachment. The Intel Committee threatened contempt but struck a deal with DOJ for the Intel docs.
Waiting for this story to come out.
Thanks @Pet_Proletariat…you are the keeper of the facts and always on top of it.
Something bigger is still coming at Barr, ie the Judiciary Committee.
Yes, what may be lurking in those intel briefs?
Thanks, it’s getting harder to tell what’s new because all the stories read the same. I often have to go back and forth to make sure it’s not the same committee or chairperson.
We may not find out but at least Congress is starting to receive the material they need.
Yes, we have many layers piled on at this point.
Thank you for doing the fact check…(I didn’t obvs)
Above all, I was just struck that Dems, primarily now Judiciary Committee are getting more teeth into the inquiry process/fact gathering/Mueller Report exposure and NOW holding Barr’s feet to the fire, and will not let him at least get penalized for it.
And getting John Dean to testify as a way to keep up the pressure…and memories may be short about how significant he was in tipping over the public opinion, and in time ultimately getting to those incriminating tapes.
"I began by telling the president that there was a cancer growing on the presidency and that if the cancer was not removed the president himself would be killed by it. John Dean
As the keeper of the facts , why are these committees giving these people so many chances? I would have expected the contempt vote immediately after the no show.
The Committee Chairs are supposed to exhaust all normal avenues of seeking testimony or documents before holding a committee vote in contempt, plus it strengthens their case in court.
White House instructs Hope Hicks, former McGahn aide not to comply with congressional subpoenas
The White House instructed former president Trump aide Hope Hicks and the ex-counsel’s chief of staff not to cooperate with a congressional subpoena for documents related to their White House service.
The House Judiciary Committee last month issued a compulsory measure to one of Trump’s closest staffers and longtime aides, Hicks, and Donald McGahn’s staffer, Annie Donaldson, as part of its expansive probe into potential abuse of power, public corruption and obstruction.
Both faced a Tuesday deadline to turn over documents and have been subpoenaed to appear for testimony later in June.
In a statement, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the committee, said the two were told not to cooperate.
“As part of President Trump’s continued obstruction of Congress, the White House has instructed both Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson not to turn over records in response to subpoenas issued by our committee last month,” Nadler said. “I note that Ms. Hicks has agreed to turn over some documents to the committee related to her time working for the Trump campaign, and I thank her for that show of good faith.”
Adding this thank you
I hope so…she may be selective on these. Just noting that she/WH will have final discretion I believe …and odd at this juncture that Emmet Flood, the president’s lawyer on the Russia stuff is leaving. He argued that T had executive privilege about distributing any documents, despite T’s previous stance and NOT taking executive privilege.
Hope has stayed very T friendly…and even encouraged to come back in I believe. Doesn’t she work for Fox News in LA…?
and now people are wondering why she has any “privileged” documents anyway.
Flood’s departure had been expected after Mueller concluded his investigation in March, as his main role was helping manage the White House’s responses to Mueller’s work. But even after the inquiry concluded, Flood had played a key role in decisions about how the White House handled requests from Congress for investigation-related documents.
For example, in an April 19 letter to Attorney General William P. Barr, Flood criticized Mueller’s final report for failing to “comply with the requirements of governing law.” He said the president’s decision not to assert executive privilege over the report did not mean he was prevented from doing so now to block Congress from compelling aides to testify or to stop lawmakers from accessing underlying investigative materials.
Maggie posted the letter from her lawyers. They included a log of the emails threads. Read it, they’ve agreed to turn these over. It’s all in the Mueller Report anyways. This would just confirm it and provide evidence.
But they still could be in limbo perhaps…all TBD.
Some Democrats in Congress say Neal is being smart by declining to request Trump’s New York state tax returns, claiming that taking this cautious approach will protect the legal process by which Neal is attempting to obtain Trump’s Federal tax returns. I’m not in that camp. I’m with Maxine Waters and I say, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”
House Democrats clamoring for Donald Trump’s tax information have eagerly awaited a newly passed New York law allowing limited access to the president’s state returns.
They’re about to be sorely disappointed.
House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal would be the only Democrat allowed by the new law to ask for the documents, but so far he has said he won’t do it.
Neal has said he fears that getting the state returns would bolster Trump administration arguments that Congress is on a political fishing expedition – and not, as Neal has claimed, overseeing the Internal Revenue Service’s annual audits of the president.
But Neal’s patience may wear thin if a lengthy legal battle with the Trump administration looms while the 2020 presidential campaign heats up and Democratic voters want to see the House hold Trump accountable. …
Some of Neal’s colleagues have little interest in legal nuance and say the state tax returns are better than none at all. They’re pointing to the measure passed recently by the New York State Legislature, which Governor Andrew Cuomo is widely expected to sign.
“Whatever it takes to get it – I’m for it,” said House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, a California Democrat. “I believe that the president of the United States should follow the tradition of other presidents and reveal his tax returns.”
Neal has asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin three times for six years of Trump’s federal personal and business returns, citing a 1924 law that allows the chairmen of the congressional tax committees to ask and requires the Treasury secretary to provide them. When Mnuchin refused the request three times, Neal followed with a subpoena but that, too, was rejected. The battle is expected to end up in court.
“Yes, absolutely, we need to ask” for the New York returns, said Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington State, who co-chairs the House Progressive Caucus. “We need to know. There is an emoluments clause and a Constitution for a reason.” …
BTW, this is a Bloomberg report that they have made available without a paywall on their sister publication, “Accounting Today.” Here’s the Bloomberg link for subscribers.
Interesting tidbit, this the second time Nadler has asked to open an impeachment inquiry and Nancy wants Trump to go to jail. What a meeting, eh?!
Nadler pressed Pelosi to allow his committee to launch an impeachment inquiry against Trump — the second such request he’s made in recent weeks only to be rebuffed by the California Democrat and other senior leaders. Pelosi stood firm, reiterating that she isn’t open to the idea of impeaching Trump at this time.
“I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison,” Pelosi said, according to multiple Democratic sources familiar with the meeting.
House Dems plan on using the courts to enforce contempt.
House Democrats are planning to vote next week to empower committees to go to court to enforce their subpoenas, a move that will give committee chairmen a powerful tool to hold officials in contempt while bypassing the House floor.
The plan is likely to expedite Democrats’ efforts to fight the Trump administration in court over their subpoenas and could also help vulnerable Democratic lawmakers avoid repeated contempt votes on the House floor, although there are also concerns about implications of the precedent that’s being set.