Congressional Democrats have an uncanny “ability” to not recognize their own hypocrisy.
On Wednesday, the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress for not providing them with access to special counsel Robert Mueller’s entire report, including confidential grand jury information.
Before and after the vote, various Democrat leaders issued grandiose speeches or statements decrying the Justice Department’s alleged “corruption” and warning of a “constitutional crisis.”
What’s notable is that the contempt vote and speeches occurred roughly seven years after the same Democrat leaders excoriated then-House Oversight Committee chair Darrell Issa for daring to hold then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. More on this later.
“We’ve talked for a long time about approaching a constitutional crisis. We are now in it,” House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler, who’s been battling with Barr for weeks for full access to the Mueller report, said in a hyperbolic speech Wednesday following the committee’s vote.
Yet here’s how he responded when Republicans held Holder in contempt back in 2012:
Just joined the #walkout of the House chamber to protest the shameful, politically-motivated GOP vote holding AG Holder in contempt
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) June 28, 2012
Hypocrisy much? He’s not alone. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s also guilty of hypocrisy.
“I think that the attorney general should be held in contempt,” she said Wednesday during an event being held by The Washington Post, adding that impeachment of the AG isn’t “off the table.”
She espoused the exact opposite stance seven years ago.
“What we have seen is a shameful display of abuse of power by the Republicans in the House of Representatives,” she said a day after Holder’s contempt vote on June 20, 2012. “Instead of bringing job-creating legislation to the floor, the transportation bill, they are they are holding the Attorney General of the United States in contempt of Congress for doing his job.”
She then trotted out a conspiracy theory about how the Republicans’ decision to hold Holder in contempt of Congress was part of some clandestine “scheme to suppress the vote” …
Next up is House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff.
“Trump and those who blindly serve him — like Barr — must be made to comply with our requests for information. In absence of vigorous oversight, corruption will continue to flourish,” he defiantly tweeted Wednesday afternoon after the Judiciary Committee voted to hold Barr in contempt.
The House Judiciary Committee just voted to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt.
Trump and those who blindly serve him — like Barr — must be made to comply with our requests for information.
In absence of vigorous oversight, corruption will continue to flourish.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 8, 2019
Yet prior to Holder’s contempt vote in 2012, he said the opposite.
“I like most Americans would like to know about the facts of Fast and Furious, about the problem of guns crossing our border, the horrendous violence south of our border, but what we do today will shed no light on that,” he said in a grandiose statement at the time.
“What we do today will not improve the situation in terms of gun violence that’s claimed the lives of tens of thousands of — tens of thousands of Mexican citizens and claimed the lives of Americans. What we are doing today is simply a partisan abuse of the contempt power.”
The hypocrisy is stunning. Granted, some have pointed to the Republicans’ contempt vote against Holder as evidence of the right’s own hypocrisy. Except that’s a misleading assertion.
Regarding the current contempt vote, Democrats held it because Barr refuses to provide them with access to Mueller’s full report, as the report contains classified information that he cannot release as per the law. The attorney general has however both released a redacted version of the report and also given Democrats the chance to review a less redacted version privately.
“On April 18, 2019, the Attorney General voluntarily disclosed to Congress the Special Counsel’s report, which was intended to be ‘confidential’ under the applicable regulations, with as few redactions as possible, consistent with the law and long-established confidentiality interests of the Executive Branch,” Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd explained in a letter to Nadler this week.
“He also made available to you and other congressional leaders a minimally redacted version of the report that excluded only grand jury information, which could not lawfully be shared with Congress.”
Yet as of last week, only two lawmakers had taken advantage of this opportunity to review the report — Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Republican Rep. Doug Collins.
Holder never offered such provisions to Republicans — a point that had to be hammered into liberal commentator Bill Kristol’s head after he tried to accuse Sen. Marco Rubio of hypocrisy:
Great statement by Marco Rubio. pic.twitter.com/F9CYk6P2ul
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) May 8, 2019
The difference being Rep offered Holder ability to show privately and he refused. This time Barr offered that to house and they refused. And what asking for is reqd by federal law to be redacted. Hence Mueller team & DOJ both working in redactions before release.
— Sean Armentrout (@seantacoma) May 9, 2019
Barr has also offered to show documents in a private setting. 12 members of Congress can see unredacted Mueller Report. Lindsey Graham and @RepDougCollins saw them. Nadler has not.
— MikeN (@MikeN64536) May 9, 2019
Hey Billy, did you watch the video? Holder was offered to present the material in a closed setting. He refused. Barr has a minimally redacted report available. No dems have viewed.
— jay allen (@jimjo199) May 9, 2019
@EricHolder provided guns to Mexico which were later used to kill border agent Brian Terry. Holder was trying to hide the fact that he was an accomplice to murder.
Barr released the Mueller report and offered to let Dems view a less redacted version of it. #ApplesOranges, Bill.
— DespeRobbo (@Desperobbo) May 9, 2019
This was about an Attorney General that was refusing to cooperate or follow the law. This time the Attorney General is following the law set forth by Congress. In order to comply he must violate the law. He has offered private viewings of unredacted report to leaders, they refuse
— Seriously? ⭐⭐⭐ (@Serious72048896) May 8, 2019
These are the facts, and as usual the facts don’t matter to either congressional Democrats or their peers in the media. Following Holder’s contempt vote in 2012, the media portrayed Republicans as evil racists for making Holder the first AG to ever be held in Congress. Following the Democrats’ contempt vote against Barr, however, they cheered in glee. So much journalisming …
As a reminder, Barr has at least tried to work with Republicans. Holder never did.
“When someone receives a subpoena, they can either comply or challenge the subpoena on certain legal grounds or claim the documents are privileged,” U.S. News & World Report reported following Holder’s contempt vote in June of 2012.
“What they cannot do is ignore the subpoena and that is what Holder did. For months, Holder has ignored the subpoena. When Darryl Issa asked if the documents had been assembled within the Justice Department, Holder refused to answer. In short, he was thumbing his nose at the committee.”
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