- The Duran Quick Take: Episode 163.
The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the House Judiciary Committee Democrats vote to hold US Attorney Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing their demands for the unredacted Mueller report and its underlying evidence.
Democrat committee chair Jerry Nadler told reporters that the United States is now in a “constitutional crisis” after a vote along party lines of 22-12.
William Barr is now facing a second House subpoena, issued by intelligence committee chair Adam Schiff, as Democrats double down on their nonsensical quest for a Mueller report that has already been released in full to the public, with the exception of eight percent of its content, which has been redacted under the advise of Robert Mueller and the DOJ, as required by US law.
The vote came after the White House asserted executive privilege over the report’s contents, calling Nadler’s demand for the unredacted report a “blatant abuse of power.” A version of the report with most of the redactions removed has been made available at a secure facility, but so far no Democrats have bothered to look at it.
“It is deeply disappointing that elected representatives of the American people have chosen to engage in such inappropriate political theatrics,” DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in a statement, adding that no one force the Department of Justice to break the law by handing over documents that cannot be disclosed.
This is only the second occasion a congressional committee has held a sitting attorney general in contempt. The first such instance was in 2012, when Barack Obama’s AG Eric Holder was held in contempt by the Republican-majority House over his refusal to provide documents related to the “Fast and furious” gun smuggling scandal.
At the time, Nadler called it a “shameful, politically-motivated” vote and walked out of the proceedings.
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
Mueller was appointed special counsel in May 2017 by deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, after Democrats accused Trump of obstructing the ‘Russian collusion’ investigation by sacking FBI Director James Comey. After nearly two years of investigating, he submitted a 448-page report to the DOJ in March.
Barr, who became AG in February, published the full report – with less than 10 percent redacted to protect sources, methods, grand jury information and ongoing investigations – to the public on April 18.
For all the talk I hear about Russian clickbait sowing fear & “discord,” I submit for your consideration those prominent Democratic voices constantly declaring that we are in a “national security crisis” (e.g. post-Helsinki) & now “a constitutional crisis” (post-Mueller report). https://t.co/1TZo2h897t
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) May 8, 2019
Note that Bill Barr today cited Janet Reno's 1996 recommendation that Bill Clinton invoke Executive Privilege to withhold documents to justify his own recommendation that Trump do the same. That's why it's so ridiculous when people scream, THIS IS NOT NORMAL pic.twitter.com/bvLDd01NVQ
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) May 8, 2019
In his refusal to hand over the documents demanded by the committee, Barr cited the opinion of AG Janet Reno from 1996, during the Clinton administration. Back then, Nadler vocally opposed the release of the full report by special counsel Ken Starr into President Bill Clinton.
Democrats have gone so far as to demand Barr’s resignation over his handling of the Mueller report, though certain conservative commentators have suggested that the outrage aimed at the AG has more to do with his ongoing investigation into the Obama administration’s surveillance of the Trump campaign during and after the 2016 presidential election.