After the big spectacle the House Judiciary Committee made last week in holding AG Barr in contempt for not violating the law in releasing the full unredacted Mueller report to them, you’d think the House would already be voting on holding Barr in contempt as well. But apparently that’s not high on their priority list. Imagine that…
POLITICO – House Democrats will not hold floor votes on contempt resolutions against Attorney General William Barr or any other Trump administration officials until at least June, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on Wednesday.
Hoyer’s comments made official what has already been clear inside the House Democratic Caucus — Hoyer, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other party leaders are still wrestling with how to respond to President Donald Trump’s broad refusal to cooperate with subpoenas for documents and testimony related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, as well as his own personal finances.
“I don’t anticipate it will be done this month. We only have one week [left],” Hoyer told reporters on Wednesday when asked about the contempt resolution against Barr, which was approved by the House Judiciary Committee last week over Barr’s failure to turn over an unredacted copy of the Mueller report after he was subpoenaed. “But again, I want to emphasize this is a very serious matter. We are taking it very seriously.”
Hoyer added that Democratic leaders are assembling a package of contempt resolutions that would be approved at one time, although there is no timetable on what that will reach the floor.
Democrat leadership must realize that the contempt vote out of the judiciary committee was ludicrous because AG Barr cannot release the full unredacted Mueller report to the committee without violating the law.
Therefore they want to vote on a whole “package of contempt resolutions” so they can just talk about all the contempt violations against the Trump administration en masse and not focus on how stupid it is that they are holding AG Barr in contempt for following the law.
But there’s another debate happening regarding this contempt vote within Democrat ranks:
Pelosi and her top lieutenants have shown no interest in impeaching Trump despite repeated calls to do so from some rank-and-file lawmakers, as there is no GOP support for such a move and it could backfire politically against Democrats. The Justice Department won’t act on any criminal contempt resolution approved by House Democrats, leaving them with the choice of suing Trump in court as part of a civil contempt finding, a time-consuming process. And senior Democrats privately scoff at the idea of using “inherent contempt” authority — having Congress detain or fine witnesses who won’t cooperate with subpoenas — although a number of junior Democrats want to try it, despite the fact it hasn’t been attempted by the House in more than 80 years.
Go ahead, lock up AG Barr in the little jail down in the Capitol building. See how the American people respond to that. DO EEET!
Hoyer, though, showed little enthusiasm for the idea, despite its popularity among some members.
“I don’t want to deny that we have inherent contempt authority. But we are somewhat limited in our ability to carry that out,” Hoyer said.
Yah think? These crazy rank and file members like Rashida Tlaib and AOC are really giving Democrat leadership a time over these issues. They are so radical it makes someone like Steny Hoyer look halfway reasonable.