Politics: Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote - - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsPelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote

13:55  25 may  2019
13:55  25 may  2019 Source:   thehill.com

Schiff plans 'enforcement action' against DOJ over Mueller

Schiff plans 'enforcement action' against DOJ over Mueller House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Thursday that his panel will vote on "enforcement action" against Attorney General William Barr or the Justice Department next week, yet another escalation in the standoff between Congress and President Donald Trump's administration over documents and testimony.Schiff is scheduling the vote after the Justice Department missed a Wednesday deadline to hand over an unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report and declined to hand over "a dozen narrow sets of documents" that were referred to in it. Schiff said he requested the documents in order to gauge whether the department was acting in good faith.

Pelosi ’s "cover-up" comments Wednesday followed a closed-door caucus meeting for House Nadler said the Judiciary panel “will not sit idly by and wait” as the administration stonewalls His committee voted to recommend that the House hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt , a vote that’s

Speaker Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to impeach President Donald Trump, but a growing number of her members are trying to drag her there. Nadler stopped short of endorsing an impeachment push at Tuesday's empty-chair hearing with McGahn. But he vowed to take action in response.

Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote© Getty Images Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote

There is growing daylight between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) over the best strategy for combating a Trump administration that is flouting a flurry of congressional subpoenas at nearly every turn.

The pair of powerful Democrats clashed in recent days over whether to launch impeachment proceedings against President Trump and how soon to hold a contempt vote against Attorney General William Barr.

Barr: The allegation I lied to Congress is 'laughable'

Barr: The allegation I lied to Congress is 'laughable' Attorney General William Barr is making clear he’s not losing sleep over Democrats’ strident opposition to his job performance. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); In an interview with Fox News that aired Friday, Barr said he wasn’t worried about the near certainty that the House will vote to hold him in contempt of Congress, nor was he concerned about accusations he lied to lawmakers, chalking the matter up to partisan politics.

Pelosi has long been resistant to the idea of opening impeachment proceedings against Trump In response to McGahn refusing to appear, committee chair Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said Monday night But Pelosi and House Democratic leaders have stalled in bringing the topic to the full House for a vote .

Nadler summarily dismissed that line of reasoning Tuesday as he foreshadowed a contempt vote . The vote is expected to occur when Congress returns from Nadler , with input from Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders, must decide which of the three traditional contempt enforcement

Nadler, spurred by frustrated Judiciary Committee members, has been privately pushing leadership for both an impeachment inquiry, and a contempt vote immediately after lawmakers return from their weeklong Memorial Day recess.

Pelosi is still urging a go-slow approach, concerned that Democrats have not yet swayed public opinion about why such aggressive tactics are necessary. The Speaker is also pointing to a string of court victories over the Trump administration and business entities, bolstering Democrats' arguments that the law is on their side as they methodically probe the president.

The Judiciary Committee "has to make a stronger public case for moving forward with contempt in a way that would persuade the public, that is disciplined enough to persuade the public, and box in the Republicans and really elevate their level of complicity in the president's wrongdoing and his campaign of obstruction," said a senior Democratic source tracking the fight playing out in the 235-member caucus.

Nadler threatens to hold McGahn in contempt

Nadler threatens to hold McGahn in contempt House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) is threatening to hold former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt if he does not testify publicly on Tuesday before Congress. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); "First thing we are going to do is hold McGahn in contempt," Nadler told CNN on Monday night, noting that the committee intends to then enforce such citations for defying congressional subpoenas in court.

House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler is pushing for a vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt soon after recess. | Still, a growing number of rank-and-file Democrats say they believe a more robust debate on impeachment is inevitable if, or when, Trump orders his administration to

Pelosi has said she believes Trump is "goading" Democrats into impeachment . The House Judiciary Committee recently voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress after On Tuesday, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler issued subpoenas for more Trump administration

"Trump has just given us a gift and we have to use it to our advantage," the source said. More public outreach "needs to be done before you take a vote on contempt or impeachment."

In a closed-door emergency caucus meeting this week, Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), a Pelosi ally, made a point many saw as pushing back at the pressure from Nadler and others on Judiciary, who are increasingly frustrated by the administration's stonewalling.

Welch stood up and said that while Democrats may eventually have to move forward with impeachment, they should not do so just because of pique within the Judiciary Committee.

It seems it's "just the Judiciary Committee that's getting dissed" by the Trump administration, Welch said, according to a source in the room. Democrats, he added, cannot let that dictate the actions of the entire Congress.

Pelosi has consistently sought to tamp down calls for impeaching, believing the party is better off competing with Trump in the 2020 election over healthcare and other issues.

Pelosi: Trump is 'crying out' for impeachment but House Democrats are not on that path

Pelosi: Trump is 'crying out' for impeachment but House Democrats are not on that path House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused President Donald Trump of trying to goad Democrats into pursuing impeachment but said her caucus is not taking the bait. She said Trump's vow not to work with Democrats on shared priorities such as infrastructure rebuilding was rooted in frustration that "the House Democratic caucus is not on the path to impeachment and that’s where he wants us to be.” require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi appealed to House Democrats on Wednesday to hold off on beginning impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump even as she said the president “is engaged in a cover-up.” Yet the call to take strong action against the president persisted in the caucus.

Even though Pelosi has thus far resisted prodding from the most liberal Democrats to begin Such a move wouldn’t necessarily guarantee a vote in the House for impeachment , let alone an almost Close Pelosi ally Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) hasn’t made up her mind on impeachment , but she

Polls bolster her position. Only 28 percent of Americans said starting impeachment proceedings should be a top priority for Congress, according to a recent Morning Consult/Politico poll.

Nadler, under pressure to show his committee is winning its war with Trump, has assumed a more aggressive posture in recent days.

In a private meeting with Pelosi and her top lieutenants this week, Nadler explained that the majority of his committee members were clamoring for an impeachment inquiry against Trump and that he, too, thought this was the best course of action now, sources familiar with the meeting said.

But Pelosi and others rebuffed him - a development Nadler later reported back to Democrats on his Judiciary panel during in a separate, closed-door gathering, committee members said.

Nadler has also challenged Democratic leaders on moving quickly to a contempt vote on the floor for Barr, who is refusing to testify to his committee.

During a Democratic whip's meeting, he said the House should vote on June 4, according to Budget Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), who attended that meeting.

House Democrats eye date for Barr contempt vote

House Democrats eye date for Barr contempt vote Democratic leaders are looking at a date in the first week of June.

Nadler said the committee would vote to hold McGahn in contempt , though that’s not expected until June, after lawmakers return from the Memorial Day recess. They say a formal impeachment inquiry could give Democrats more standing in court, even if they stop short of a vote to remove the president.

Nadler summarily dismissed that line of reasoning Tuesday as he foreshadowed a contempt vote . The vote is expected to occur when Congress returns from Nadler , with input from Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders, must decide which of the three traditional contempt enforcement

Top Democrats were surprised that Nadler was floating a specific date when Pelosi and others had not yet settled on a strategy. Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), who's panel is nicknamed the "Speaker's committee" because it works so closely with the Speaker, told The Hill it would be "odd" for lawmakers to vote on contempt as their first act after being away from Washington for 12 days.

The broader 235-member caucus needs to have more debate and discussion before taking such a serious step, he said, adding that Pelosi had not signed off on the June 4 vote.

Pelosi's office declined to comment, but the Speaker told colleagues this week she has "great admiration and respect" for Nadler.

Nadler declined to comment about the contempt vote or impeachment as he left the Capitol for the long recess. His aides declined to comment for this story.

But appearing on MSNBC on Thursday night, Nadler confirmed earlier reporting by the Washington Post that he had pressed Pelosi to act more swiftly on starting impeachment proceedings.

"I urged the Speaker to speed things up and consider an impeachment inquiry," Nadler told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, though he conceded that Democrats' recent court victories had made his argument for impeachment "much weaker."

Rep. Nadler: Robert Mueller wants to testify to Congress — but in private

Rep. Nadler: Robert Mueller wants to testify to Congress — but in private Mueller has expressed interest in doing a public opening statement, but a closed-door testimony, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seemed to tamp down plans for impeachment during a call with her Democratic colleagues Monday after penning a letter acknowledging the divide in her caucus over it See Nadler 's dire warning after contempt vote . Rep. Jackson Lee: Barr's actions are contemptuous .

Pelosi has said she believes Trump is “goading” Democrats into impeachment . On Tuesday, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler issued subpoenas for more Trump administration officials Pelosi pushed back, saying that several committees are doing investigations already and noting that Rep.

The 14-term New York lawmaker is backed by an overwhelming majority of his fellow Judiciary Committee Democrats.

Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) called it a "good sign" that Nadler is aggressively pushing for a contempt vote on June 4. The House plans to adjourn again on June 5 to allow for lawmakers to fly to France to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.

"We have to work with urgency. You can't let people ignore subpoenas, obstruct justice, obstruct the American people getting the truth," Dean told The Hill. "We have to act with the urgency that that demands."

"I think the right strategy is to move on all of it as quickly as possible," added Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), another Judiciary member. Trump is "melting down and the world is starting to see that he just doesn't intend to allow Congress to do its job; he just simply refuses to accept that there's a separate and co-equal branch of government at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue."

That sentiment for speedy action is also shared by many fellow Judiciary members, including Reps. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), Val Demings (D-Fla.), Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.); Lieu and Raskin are lower-ranking members of Pelosi's leadership team.

"I support doing [contempt] at the earliest possible date," Raskin, who also serves on the Rules panel, told The Hill.

But Judiciary Democrats are not unanimous. Some are deferring to the strategy detailed by Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) this month: wait until Democrats have identified a group of individuals who are defying congressional subpoenas, then vote on multiple contempt citations all at once in one big package. That would also clear floor time so Democrats could pursue other legislative priorities.

Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), a Judiciary member who has called for the start of an impeachment inquiry, described waiting on contempt as a "strategic move." He pointed to other House committees that are also pushing for documents and weighing contempt citations for those refusing to honor subpoenas.

Raskin, a former constitutional law professor and unabashed liberal, downplayed the disagreements over impeachment and contempt as simply a family discussion about the best way to proceed.

"The whole caucus is in a discussion about which strategy is going to move us forward to counter the lawlessness of the administration," Raskin said in a phone interview with The Hill on Friday.

"I don't see us in any way divided or polarized," he continued, adding that "all of the tools in constitutional toolkit are on the table now."

Read More

Key House panel faces pivotal week on Trump.
The House Judiciary Committee, which would consider articles of impeachment against President Trump if that process moves forward, is set for a pivotal week. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.

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