House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler, D-NY, pushed ahead Wednesday with his vindictive threat to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt after he opted not to comply with a subpoena to give the panel an unredacted copy of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
Just before the committee came to order, the Trump White House asserted executive privilege over the report.
Just in: Ahead of the House Judiciary's contempt vote the Justice Department informed the committee that the White House has asserted executive privilege over the unredacted Mueller report the committee had subpoenaed
— Deirdre Walsh (@deirdrekwalsh) May 8, 2019
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said because of Nadler’s “abuse of power,” Trump had “no other option.”
“Faced with Chairman Nadler’s blatant abuse of power, and at the attorney general’s request, the president has no other option than to make a protective assertion of executive privilege,” Sanders said in a statement.
The Justice Department warned Nadler on Tuesday that if he moves forward on the vote, a request will be made to President Donald Trump to do just that.
In a letter to Nadler Tuesday evening, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said the panel’s demand was “unreasonable” and urged a delay in the vote, according to NBC News.
“If the committee decides to proceed in spite of this request, however, the Attorney General will advise the President to make a protective assertion of executive privilege,” Boyd wrote in the letter.
With the Judiciary Committee voting 22-12 to hold Barr in contempt, it will have to go to a full vote in the Democrat-controlled House.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi was noncommittal on whether she would proceed with a vote to hold Barr in contempt.
“Let’s hope that they can make their own accommodations before that,” the speaker said Tuesday night while speaking to reporters off the House floor, a reference to the Trump administration.
But Pelosi said at a Washington Post event that she believes Barr should be held in contempt, according to The Hill.
Trump charged in a tweet prior to the vote that Democrats are the ones obstructing justice by targeting Barr, who is now investigating the circumstances that resulted in Mueller’s Russian collusion probe.
“‘The real “Obstruction of Justice” is what the Democrats are trying to do to this Attorney General,'” Trump tweeted, attributing the quote to Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee — Jordan made the comment during an appearance on Fox Business Network.
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