The House Judiciary Committee announced on Monday that they will vote Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt after he failed to comply with a subpoena to provide Congress with an unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and the underlying evidence.
The committee’s move is the first step toward holding Barr in contempt of Congress, escalating the battle between the White House and Congress over Democrats’ oversight requests and raising for the first time the prospect of an impeachment inquiry.
The panel had initially demanded that Barr turn over the unredacted report by May 1, and then made him a counteroffer after he let that deadline slip. Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd responded to Nadler in a letter Monday afternoon expressing disappointment that the panel took initial steps on the contempt process. Boyd invited Democratic and Republican committee staff to the department on Wednesday afternoon “to negotiate an accommodation that meets the legitimate interests of each of our coequal branches of government.”
If the Judiciary Committee signs off on the panel’s contempt resolution on Wednesday it then would go to a vote in the full House. The timing of that vote would be up to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Barr was slated to testify before the panel last week, but did not appear.
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