contempt of Congress

House will vote ‘soon’ to hold Barr, Ross in criminal contempt over citizenship question
Pelosi announces plans for full House vote in dear colleague letter, also outlining legislative steps to protect migrants

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., sent a letter to colleagues Monday saying the House will “soon” vote to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with subpoenas seeking documents explaining the rationale for adding a citizenship question to the census. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House will “soon” vote to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary William Ross in contempt of Congress for defying subpoenas for documents explaining the administration’s rationale for wanting to add a citizenship question to the census, Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote in a “Dear Colleague” letter on Monday.

The Oversight and Reform Committee last month approved a contempt resolution against Barr and Ross that included language to refer the matter to the U.S. attorney in Washington for possible criminal charges, as well as authorize the pursuit of a lawsuit.

Pelosi suggests floor vote on Barr contempt not imminent
‘There might be some other contempt of Congress issues that we’ll deal with at the same time,’ Pelosi says

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says the House might wait a while before voting on whether to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Thursday the House might wait on a floor vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress until seeing how a similar situation plays out with former White House Counsel Don McGahn.

“When we’re ready, we’ll come to the floor,” the California Democrat said during her weekly press conference. “And we’ll just see because there might be some other contempt of Congress issues that we’ll deal with at the same time.”

Are Democrats using quest for unredacted Mueller report as shield against impeachment?
Court fight to obtain full report could drag beyond 2020 election, allowing Democrats to avoid impeachment decision

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., conducts a markup on a resolution to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing to respond to a committee subpoena for the unredacted special counsel report and investigatory materials. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democratic leaders have unequivocally accused President Donald Trump of ongoing obstruction of justice, but they say they won’t decide whether to begin impeachment proceedings against him without seeing the full report and evidence from the special counsel’s investigation.

The result is a single-track process that will likely involve a lengthy court battle for the unredacted version of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report and his underlying investigatory materials. Trump on Wednesday asserted executive privilege over those documents, before the Judiciary  Committee voted along party lines to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for ignoring the panel’s subpoena to turn them over.

After McGahn misses first subpoena deadline, Nadler warns of contempt if he misses second
Former White House counsel declines to turn over documents, but committee expects him to testify

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., is threatening to hold former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress if he does not comply with a subpoena to appear before his panel on May 21. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said Tuesday that his panel will hold former White House counsel Donald McGahn in contempt of Congress if he does not comply with a subpoena to appear before the committee on May 21.

The threat, which the New York Democrat issued in a letter sent to McGahn’s lawyer William A. Burck, comes as McGahn missed the first of two deadlines the committee gave him in the subpoena. McGahn had to turn over by Tuesday documents related to instances chronicled in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report in which President Donald Trump may have obstructed justice. 

Democrats may hold Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to deliver unredacted Mueller report
Judiciary Democrats also expected to subpoena AG for his testimony after he decided to skip Thursday hearing

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., says he’s considering holding Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Attorney General William Barr escalated tensions with House Democrats on Wednesday by ignoring their subpoena for the unredacted version of special counsel Robert S. Meuller III’s report and declining to testify before the Judiciary Committee as scheduled Thursday.

The attorney general’s defiance has Judiciary Democrats considering holding him in contempt of Congress. 

Fines? Jail time? Democrats leave all options on the table for enforcing subpoenas
As administration stonewalls Congress, Democrats consider using historical ‘inherent contempt’ power

House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings says Democrats should consider all tools available them to force administration compliance with congressional subpoenas and oversight requests, including fines or jail time. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Administration officials could face fines or jail time for ignoring congressional subpoenas, as House Democrats say they’re seriously considering reviving a congressional power that has not been used since the 1930s.

President Donald Trump has publicly urged administration officials not to comply with congressional subpoenas, and some have started heeding the advice. House Democrats have made no formal decisions about how to respond to the Trump administration’s stonewalling of their oversight investigations, but one option on the table is the historical process of “inherent contempt.”

Rosenstein Impeachment Resolution Was Always Leading to Contempt
House Republicans willing to initiate contempt proceedings in September absent DOJ compliance

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., talks with Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, off camera, March 06, 2018. The two Freedom Caucus leaders filed a resolution to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in an effort to spur compliance with congressional document requests. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House could vote to hold Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in contempt of Congress if by September the Department of Justice has still not turned over outstanding documents Republican lawmakers requested. 

“I think the very first order of business would probably be moving the House to a contempt vote,” House Freedom Caucus Mark Meadows said of what would happen if the DOJ has still not turned over remaining documents by September.