With a contempt vote looming, Attorney General William Barr made an offer to House Judiciary Democrats to provide slightly more access to the Mueller report.
Barr Tries To Ward Off The House Contempt Vote
The Justice Department offered on Tuesday to allow more congressional staffers access to a less-redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report — an attempt to head off a Wednesday vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for defying a Democratic subpoena for Mueller’s entire findings and evidence. The concessions also included allowing a select number of senior lawmakers — just 12 have been allowed access to the less-redacted version — to keep their handwritten notes on the report.
But importantly, the offer does not include allowing additional lawmakers to view the document, and those who can would still be forbidden from discussing it or sharing their notes with colleagues — leaving a key demand from Democrats unresolved.
Barr does not want to be held in contempt, because the next step is court, and that is where he will lose.
Democrats should reject Barr’s offer
House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) should reject Barr’s minimal offer because it does not provide more Democrats with ability to see the unredacted Mueller report and discuss it. Barr is trying to slowly drip out access to the unredacted version of Mueller’s report. The contempt threat and public pressure are working.
Democrats should settle for nothing less than the full report being available to all members and the underlying evidence being turned over to House Democrats.
William Barr’s position is weakening, and if Democrats keep the heat on, it is only a matter of time before he backs down or loses in court.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and 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