Attorney General William Barr will face the possibility of being held in contempt next week as House Democrats announced a June 11 vote to decide the matter.
The contempt of Congress vote comes on the heels of Barr’s failure to comply with a congressional subpoena over in the aftermath of Robert Mueller’s report. Former White House counsel Don McGahn will also face a contempt vote that day for ignoring a Democratic subpoena to appear.
According to Fox News, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced the upcoming vote on Monday.
“This Administration’s systematic refusal to provide Congress with answers and cooperate with Congressional subpoenas is the biggest cover-up in American history, and Congress has a responsibility to provide oversight on behalf of the American people,” Hoyer said in a statement.
Tensions have risen significantly between House Democrats and the Trump administration since the release of Mueller’s report and Barr’s first interpretation of it in March. Over 50 Democrats, according to The Hill, have joined the list of those calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment.
Trump has repeatedly said that impeachment, which he calls the “I word,” is a “dirty, filthy, disgusting word.” When questioned by reporters last week about the possibility of being impeached, he mostly brushed it off.
“I don’t see how they can because they’re possibly allowed, although I can’t imagine the courts allowing it. I’ve never gone into it,” he said.
Rep. Maxine Waters, when asked about holding Barr in contempt, immediately switched gears to her continued call for Trump’s impeachment.
“No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Contempt? What’s the punishment?… I’m for impeachment y’all. Period!” she said.
Attempting to hold Barr in contempt appears to be a strategy to get the attention of the White House, which has mostly ignored various investigations by House Democrats into the president’s conduct and threats of impeachment.
Should the contempt vote be successful, it would allow House Judiciary Committee Democrats to have the federal courts enforce their Congressional subpoenas against Barr and McGahn. It would give any other committees who’ve issued ignored subpoenas the legal firepower they need to enforce them.
House Judiciary Committee member Rep. David Cicilline thinks the contempt vote is an “important way” of “holding this administration accountable.”
Just hours before the announcement of the June 11 contempt vote by the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings, who chairs the House Oversight and Reform Committee, revealed that they will also be holding a contempt vote against Barr.
That upcoming vote, which will also include Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, relates to the Trump administration’s desire to add a citizenship question to the upcoming 2020 census.