House Judiciary Committee Democrats are warning that they will hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress if he does not appear at a Thursday hearing.
House Democrats May Hold Barr In Contempt
Attorney General William P. Barr told a House panel on Wednesday that he will not testify about special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report, raising the prospect that Democrats will hold the nation’s top law enforcement official in contempt of Congress.
“When push comes to shove, the administration cannot dictate the terms of our hearing in our hearing room,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the committee, told reporters. He said the panel would meet as planned and added “I hope and expect that the attorney general will think overnight and will be there as well.”
What is contempt of Congress
The House could hold Barr in contempt of Congress, which means that the Attorney General would be found to be obstructing the work of the House. The House could arrest and detain Barr, but that is not going to happen because it hasn’t been done since 1935, and Barr is protected by armed FBI agents. They could pursue criminal contempt, but the DOJ run by Barr would have to prosecute the attorney general. They could also pursue a civil contempt charge. The House could sue Barr in civil court which is what Nancy Pelosi did when she successfully defeated the Bush administration.
If Barr doesn’t show up on Thursday, things will get very real very fast for the attorney general.
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Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association