Democrats are taking steps toward holding Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to provide an un-redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
The request by Democrats is actually against the law with current Justice Department guidelines approved by Congress decades ago. In addition, the long-held practice of grand jury testimony from courtrooms across the nation has never been made public to protect witnesses and innocent individuals caught up in investigations. The move by Democrats changes over 100 years of jurisprudence, say many legal scholars.
They had given him a deadline of 9:00 am Monday, but Barr did not comply.
How are Republicans on the Hill reacting to this move?
Collins released a statement Monday saying Democrats know Attorney General Barr cannot release an unredacted report without breaking the law – he believes if Democrats really want to see this they should be introducing legislation to allow Barr to release grand jury material instead of moving forward with holding him in contempt.
He added in an interview on Fox News that there’s nothing to impeach here and he thinks Democrats are chasing after an election they lost in 2016.
Still, some Democrats have called for efforts to impeach Barr over his recent statements. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has accused the attorney general of lying and committing an actual “crime” in the process. Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Pelosi’s accusations are “reckless, irresponsible and false.”
Will we ever see Mueller testify before Congress?
Right now, he’s tentatively set to testify about his investigation before the House Judiciary Committee on May 15. President Trump tweeted about this over the weekend. He feels strongly that Robert Mueller does not need to testify writing:
“After spending more than $35,000,000 over a two year period, interviewing 500 people, using 18 Trump Hating Angry Democrats & 49 FBI Agents – all culminating in a more than 400-page Report showing NO COLLUSION – why would the Democrats in Congress now need Robert Mueller…..to testify. Are they looking for a redo because they hated seeing the strong NO COLLUSION conclusion? There was no crime, except on the other side (incredibly not covered in the Report), and NO OBSTRUCTION. Bob Mueller should not testify. No redos for the Dems!”
But other Republicans say they wouldn’t actually mind seeing Mueller testify and having an opportunity to have him clear the air on a few things. They do feel like he’ll repeat what’s in the report – but even Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent Mueller a letter on Friday inviting him to testify and clear up anything that’s been misreported about his investigation.
Meanwhile, President Trump is pointing his finger back at his opponents tweeting, “Also, there are ‘No High Crimes & Misdemeanors,’ No Collusion, No Conspiracy, No Obstruction. ALL THE CRIMES ARE ON THE OTHER SIDE, and that’s what the Dems should be looking at, but they won’t. Nevertheless, the tables are turning!”