WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday afternoon to approve a resolution holding U.S. Attorney General William Barr in Contempt of Congress.
Democrats on the committee want Barr to hand over the full, unredacted Mueller report and any related evidence. Barr has refused to do so, despite a congressional subpoena.
“We are, in fact, here on behalf of the American people to get to the truth,” said Congressman David Cicilline, D-Rhode Island.
“We have a responsibility to ensure that people who are served with a subpoena comply with it, whoever you are,” he added.
Democrats argue Congress has a right to view that information.
“We must have access to the materials that we need to fulfill our constitutional responsibilities,” Congressman Jerry Nadler, D-New York, said Wednesday.
But White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says what Democrats have asked Barr to do would break the law.
“The attorney general is protecting information, grand jury information, confidential information that he cannot release,” Sanders explained.
Negotiations between Barr and the committee broke down Tuesday night and on Wednesday, President Donald Trump ordered the entire Mueller report be withheld from Congress, claiming executive privilege.
Congressman Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland, says the president is standing in the way of the truth.
“He says there will be no cooperation with the lawful demands of Congress for information. Congress shouldn’t be looking anymore,” Raskin said.
Republicans, in the meantime, say it’s time to move on.
“Here we are, wasting another valuable week of the legislative calendar on the majority’s war against the administration,” said Congressman Doug Collins, R-Georgia.
The president is threatening to ignore all Congressional subpoenas in the ongoing battle with Democrats.
Now that the committee has passed the contempt resolution against Barr, it will go to the full House for a vote and could end up in the courts.