After the Justice Department refused to hand over an unredacted copy of the Mueller Report by a Monday morning deadline, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee said they would move later this week to hold U.S. Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, demanding more information on the findings of the Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
"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," said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
"Congress must see the full report and underlying evidence to determine how to best move forward with oversight, legislation, and other constitutional responsibilities," Nadler added.
It was the latest skirmish between Democrats and Barr, as last week, the Attorney General refused to show up for a hearing on the Mueller Report after Democrats voted to allow staff lawyers on the panel to ask up 60 minutes of questions of Barr.
"The AG still has time to change his mind," said Rep. Val Demings (D-FL). "Otherwise, we will hold him in contempt.'
"We gave him every opportunity to cooperate," said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), who was mocked by Saturday Night Live for bringing a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken to a hearing last week when Barr refused to testify.
If the committee approves a resolution finding the Attorney General in contempt, it would then move to the full House for a vote.
If the House approves that - nothing may happen - as we only have to look back a few years to the Obama Administration, when the GOP House was embroiled in a dispute over the Fast and Furious scandal, and held Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt.
Back then, the Justice Department refused to prosecute Holder - the same type of scenario would likely happen with regards to Barr in this instance as well.
Democrats have set a 10 am meeting on Wednesday in the House Judiciary Committee on the contempt citation.