In addition to declaring that we are in a “constitutional crisis” as posted by @Pet_Proletariat above, the Speaker of the House has indicated that Democrats may delay holding Barr in contempt for a “few weeks” while at the same time consolidating contempt charges for other individuals into a unified vote on the floor of the House.
My gut feeling is that they should move ahead swiftly and charge Barr immediately, but I also have faith in Pelosi and in Lieu and Schiff (who backed up her comments) - I just hope our Democratic leaders will act fiercely and chart the best course.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Thursday that the House could pursue contempt charges against multiple people in Donald Trump’s orbit — not just Attorney General William Barr — as Democrats look to overcome the president’s blanket effort to hobble their investigations.
Pelosi declined to provide a timeline for when the full House would vote to hold Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to provide the unredacted Mueller report, telling reporters there may be other related “issues” Democrats will want to handle simultaneously.
“When we’re ready we’ll come to the floor,” Pelosi said, a day after the House Judiciary Committee approved the contempt resoluion. “And we’ll just see because there may be some other contempt of Congress issues that we might want to deal with at the same time.”
Pelosi’s comments indicate Democrats could wait weeks to take further action against Barr, while they determine whether other Cabinet officials are interfering with committee requests that range from accessing Trump’s tax returns to demanding details about the U.S. Census’ citizenship question.
"We’re not going to wait a few months, but I think we could wait a few weeks," said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.).
Democrats have also mused about holding former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents to the Judiciary Committee connected to his testimony to special counsel Robert Mueller. And they’ve chafed at Trump’s move to have his personal attorneys try to disrupt Democratic efforts to subpoena Trump’s financial information from Deutsche Bank, Capitol One and Mazars USA.
“Now we’re not even talking about isolated situations, we’re talking about a cumulative effect of obstruction that the administration is engaged in,” Pelosi said. “I support the path that our chairmen are on and I do believe that it will establish the case for where we go from here.”
Other Democrats have also talked in recent days about not moving to an immediate floor vote on Barr, saying it may be more advantageous to wait.
“Because the Trump administration has decided to do a blanket denial of all subpoenas, it’s not just affecting the Judiciary Committee, it’s affecting every committee that’s trying to get information on behalf of the American people,” Lieu said.
“We’re checking with other committees to see their timeline and if they’re also reasonably close to any contempt proceedings then we might just roll it all into one floor vote,” he added. “Intel, Oversight, Financial Services have all issued subpoenas.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, whose panel issued its own subpoena for the unredacted Mueller report on Wednesday, offered similar comments.
“A lot of these issues are coming to head in the various committees,” Schiff said on MSNBC Wednesday night.
“I think it would make sense to try to consolidate at least the date when we take up these contempt resolutions, if there are multiple resolutions, so they can be adjudicated at one time and we don’t take up time every week to re-litigate this.”
It’s that last sentence that gives me pause. Wouldn’t it actually be better to keep Trump’s acts of obstruction out there in front of the American people so they are in the headlines day after day and week after week? Will one consolidated vote really have more impact than multiple individual votes? Maybe the Democrats think the public will get “contempt fatigue,” but personally, I don’t think we will.