Politics: Contempt vote likely after DOJ rejects demand for census docs - - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsContempt vote likely after DOJ rejects demand for census docs

02:00  07 june  2019
02:00  07 june  2019 Source:   politico.com

House Dems to hold Barr, Ross in contempt over census question

House Dems to hold Barr, Ross in contempt over census question The Oversight Committee wants key documents by Thursday.

But the Justice Department said it could only move forward with negotiations if the threat of a contempt vote was dropped. "The Department is willing to resume negotiations with the Committee regarding accommodations of its narrowed subpoena, provided that the committee takes reasonable

The Justice Department and special counsel's office say there is "no conflict" between statements made by Attorney General William Barr and Nadler speaks after House judiciary votes to hold Barr in contempt . The Justice Department told the committee just minutes before the hearing on contempt

Contempt vote likely after DOJ rejects demand for census docs© J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo Rep. Elijah Cummings was denied a request for documents about the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

The Justice Department on Thursday rejected a House Democratic demand for more documents about the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census, likely leading to another contempt of Congress citation for Attorney General William Barr.

In a letter to Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said the documents the panel subpoenaed are protected by attorney-client privilege and therefore cannot be disclosed.

Nadler rejects Justice Department demand to delay Barr contempt vote after Dems propose limited Mueller report documents

Nadler rejects Justice Department demand to delay Barr contempt vote after Dems propose limited Mueller report documents The House Judiciary Committee and Justice Department traded letters Tuesday in an effort to kickstart negotiations for Congress to obtain documents from special counsel Robert Mueller's report, but the efforts did not appear to halt a looming vote next week to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

The Department of Justice ( DOJ ) says it will ask President Trump to invoke executive privilege over the Mueller report if the House Judiciary Committee goes through with its threat to vote on whether to hold Attorney General William Barr.

The Justice Department has offered to renew negotiations with the House Judiciary Committee for special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report and underlying evidence if the lower chamber cancels a vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress next week.

“[T]he committee’s insistence that the department immediately turn over these documents ... is improper,” Boyd wrote, adding that the Justice Department has already turned over tens of thousands of documents and made officials available for interviews.

The Democrat-led committee gave both the Justice Department and the Commerce Department until 5 p.m. on Thursday to comply with its subpoenas, threatening to initiate contempt proceedings absent compliance. It was unclear whether Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross moved to comply with the subpoena before the deadline.

A spokeswoman for Cummings did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The committee has been investigating the decision to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census, with lawmakers accusing the Trump administration — Ross in particular — of lying about its origins.

Cummings to move forward with contempt votes for Barr, Ross over census question

Cummings to move forward with contempt votes for Barr, Ross over census question The House Oversight chairman indicated that he would move forward with votes for Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, after they missed a Thursday deadline.

But the Justice Department rejected those terms, calling them “unreasonable demands ” and said they were “a transparent attempt to short-circuit Nadler teed up the contempt vote on Monday after Barr signaled he would defy the panel’s subpoena for full, unredacted report and underlying evidence.

The Department of Justice says it's willing to recommence negotiations with the House Judiciary Committee over the release of the unredacted Mueller report if Congress does not hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt , Axios reports. The DOJ in a letter on Tuesday said that the House

New evidence emerged last week that the administration allegedly “concealed” the role of now-deceased Republican gerrymandering expert Thomas Hofeller, who believed that adding a citizenship question to the census would boost Republicans in future elections.

The Trump administration has said it is simply trying to enforce the Voting Rights Act, but Democrats have argued that such a question would create an under-count of ethnic and racial minorities, resulting in newly drawn congressional districts that would diminish their influence in American elections.

Cummings said this week that the Trump administration was seeking “to gerrymander congressional districts in overtly racist, partisan, and unconstitutional ways,” and he accused the Trump administration of a “cover-up.” Republicans on the committee have said that holding Barr and Ross in contempt is an effort to improperly interfere with ongoing Supreme Court litigation about the census question. In his letter on Thursday, Boyd echoed those concerns.

Cummings sets contempt votes for Barr, Ross for Wednesday

Cummings sets contempt votes for Barr, Ross for Wednesday The House Oversight and Reform Committee will vote on Wednesday on whether to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for failing to comply with congressional subpoenas. Committee chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said last week he would schedule the contempt votes after both of the officials' agencies did not hand over subpoenaed documents relating to the Trump administration's efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. "Both Secretary Ross and Attorney General Barr are refusing to comply with duly authorized subpoenas from Congress.

The Department of Justice sought to refute the claims in a court filing Monday, claiming that Trump officials involved in the question did not lie in their testimony and were unaware of a 2015 study the strategist, Thomas Hofeller, conducted showing that asking about citizenship would help Republicans

Nadler's letter came after the Justice Department wrote to Nadler earlier Tuesday saying it could work with the committee to produce a limited set of documents . But the Justice Department said it could only move forward with negotiations if the threat of a contempt vote was dropped.

The subpoenas, which were first authorized in April, required the Justice and Commerce departments to turn over all communications with the White House, the Republican National Committee, and President Donald Trump’s campaign. The subpoenas also sought memos and witness testimony.

One of those witnesses, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Gore, refused to answer lawmakers’ specific questions about his role in drafting a DOJ memo requesting the addition of a citizenship question, and he later skipped a scheduled deposition with the committee.

In a statement, the Justice Department said Gore had “never heard of” Hofeller’s work, and added that it “played no role in the department’s December 2017 request to reinstate a citizenship question.”

Barr is expected to be formally held in contempt of Congress in a separate matter on Tuesday, when the House is scheduled to vote on a contempt citation for his refusal to turn over former special counsel Robert Mueller’s unredacted report and underlying evidence, allowing the House Judiciary Committee to enforce its subpoena in federal court.

The contempt resolution will also allow other committees to enforce their subpoenas without requiring a full House vote.

Read More

Amash breaks with GOP in Barr, Ross contempt vote.
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), the only Republican in Congress to come out in favor of starting impeachment proceedings against President Trump, broke with his party again on Wednesday with a committee vote to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt.Amash joined Democrats to vote in favor of the contempt resolution, which was in relation to subpoenaed documents on the Trump administration's addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census. Amash had also sided with Democrats in votes over which amendments to add to the contempt resolution.

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