Wednesday: House Judiciary to Markup Contempt Report for AG Barr
Contempt report focus is on failure to produce unredacted Mueller report and underlying materials
Washington, DC, May 6, 2019
Tags: Government Oversight
Today, the House Judiciary Committee noticed a markup of a contempt report for Attorney General William Barr’s failure to comply with a duly issued subpoena to provide Congress with the full, unredacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report along with underlying evidence. The contempt markup is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at 10 a.m. During the markup, Committee Members will debate and vote on a resolution and a supporting report. The contempt report provides an explanation of the Committee’s urgent need for the Special Counsel’s report and underlying evidence, and the history of the Committee’s efforts to negotiate with the Attorney General, among other details.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) released the following statement on the contempt proceeding:
“Even in redacted form, the Special Counsel’s report offers disturbing evidence and analysis that President Trump engaged in obstruction of justice at the highest levels. Congress must see the full report and underlying evidence to determine how to best move forward with oversight, legislation, and other constitutional responsibilities. The Attorney General’s failure to comply with our subpoena, after extensive accommodation efforts, leaves us no choice but to initiate contempt proceedings in order to enforce the subpoena and access the full, unredacted report. If the Department presents us with a good faith offer for access to the full report and the underlying evidence, I reserve the right to postpone these proceedings.”
During a congressional contempt proceeding, the contempt resolution and report will be debated and voted on by Committee Members. Should the Committee vote to accept the report and hold the Attorney General in contempt, the resolution and report will move to the floor for a full vote in the House to authorize legal proceedings.
On May 3, 2019, Chairman Nadler sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr with a counter offer to immediately gain access to the redacted portions of Special Counsel Mueller’s report and underlying materials. Nadler requested that the Department reconsider its refusal to allow all Members of Congress and appropriate staff to view redacted portions of the report in a secure location, not including the grand jury material. Nadler asked that the Department work jointly with Congress to seek a court order to provide grand jury material. For the production of underlying documents, Nadler offered to prioritize those materials specifically cited in the report.
On May 1, 2019, Attorney General Barr missed the subpoena deadline to provide the full Mueller report and underlying evidence to Chairman Nadler. Barr sent a letter to Chairman Nadler instead.
On April 19, 2019, Chairman Nadler and other top Senate and House Democrats sent a letter to Attorney General Barr rejecting his limited offer that would have only allowed twelve Members of Congress to view a less-redacted version of the report in person and would not permit them to discuss it with other Members of Congress who all have top security clearances.
A copy of the contempt resolution and report is available here.