House panel readies contempt vote against attorney general

House panel readies contempt vote against attorney general

WASHINGTON- Reuters
House panel readies contempt vote against attorney general

Congressional Democrats moved closer on May 6 to citing Attorney General William Barr for contempt of Congress over his failure to give them an unredacted version of the Mueller report, escalating a showdown with the White House.

The Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee released a report citing Barr, an appointee of President Donald Trump, for contempt of Congress after the expiration of a second deadline to produce the full report. Barr also skipped a hearing before the committee last week.

The panel will vote on whether to move ahead with a contempt citation on May 8, and if it does so, the full House will vote on the issue.

Barr has released a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-TRUMP-RUSSIA/010091HX27V/report.pdf on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler subpoenaed the full document and underlying evidence, setting an initial deadline that Barr missed last week.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said he was disappointed with the committee's contempt move and invited committee staff to the Justice Department to discuss a possible compromise on May 8, after the committee's expected vote.

The Trump administration is stonewalling multiple probes by House committees.

A contempt citation could lead to a civil court case against Barr, raising the possibility of fines and even imprisonment for failure to comply.

Some Democrats on Nadler's panel say lawmakers could also exercise their own little-used "inherent" authority to act outside the U.S. judicial system to apprehend, fine and even imprison officials who do not comply with congressional subpoenas.

US, attorney general, Trump, Mueller