Democrats Give Attorney General New Deadline, Threaten Contempt

Democrats Give Attorney General New Deadline, Threaten Contempt

Kerry Wise
May 6, 2019

In an interview with the newspaper this week, the Democratic leader expressed worry over a scenario where Trump would not accept the election results if he were to lose re-election by a slim margin, the Times reported. Cory Booker (D-NJ) listens as U.S. Attorney General William Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee May 1, 2019 in Washington, DC. Both sides, the congressional Democrats, who are allied with the intelligence agencies, and the White House, supported by sections of the military, the police and fascist elements, are profoundly antidemocratic and politically reactionary.

Democrats are splintered by calls to impeach U.S. President Donald Trump.

Attorney General William Barr's shepherding of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian meddling report prompted calls for his resignation this week.

The public disclosure of Mueller's letter on Tuesday prompted Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, to accuse Barr of committing a crime by lying to Congress.

A Justice Department spokeswoman called Pelosi's allegation "reckless, irresponsible and false". That could potentially lead to legal steps against the top USA law enforcement official. Shortly after its release in redacted form on April 18, Nadler subpoenaed an unredacted version, as well as the underlying evidence that informed it.

But at least one person close to Trump told the Post that Trump's happiness was "shortsighted" because some lawmakers may not view the attorney general as credible after he appeared to behave as if he was the President's personal lawyer at the hearing.

In the past, grand jury material has been provided to Congress only during an impeachment proceeding. Nixon resigned in 1974 over the Watergate scandal. It also described attempts by Trump to obstruct Mueller's probe, but did not say whether Trump had committed a crime. Kline awarded a top-level clearance to Kushner over the objections of lower-ranking officials, but he denied that any White House official had asked him to award a security clearance to any individual. Nadler subpoenaed the entire document a day later. "I didn't have to give any documents", Trump added.

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"A tentative date has been set of May 15, and we hope the special counsel will appear", Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., said on "Fox News Sunday". But Mueller sent Barr a letter in March, and he told Barr he was out-of-bounds by claiming he left the decision of obstruction up to him.

Democrats have argued Trump waived the right to assert executive privilege - which allows a president to withhold information about internal executive branch deliberations from other branches of government - by allowing advisers to cooperate extensively with Mueller.

"If the department persists in its baseless refusal to comply with a validly issued subpoena, the committee will move to contempt proceedings and seek further legal recourse", Nadler, a Democrat from NY, wrote. The Republicans, nonetheless, wanted to go forward with the contempt citation.

"The committee is prepared to make every realistic effort to reach an accommodation with the department", Mr. Nadler wrote to Mr. Barr.

"He was very clear with me that he was not suggesting that we had misrepresented his report", Mr Barr said.

Mueller's report, the culmination of a 22-month probe that led to the charges or convictions of 34 people and three companies, confirmed that Russian operatives tried to help Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.