- The Washington Times
Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee said late Tuesday that panel Chairman Jerry Nadler will move forward with a scheduled Wednesday vote to hold Attorney General William P. Barr in contempt of Congress.

Rep. Doug Collins, Georgia Republican, said talks between the committee and the Justice Department broke down after failing to reach an accord.

Democrats have issued a subpoena for all of special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings along with the underlying evidence. The Justice Department says releasing that material to Congress would violate the law.

Mr. Collins placed the blame for the stalemate squarely on the Democrats, saying the Justice Department offered several accommodations that were rejected.

“It appears the more access to information Democrats receive, the less interested they are in actually examining those facts,” Mr. Collins said in a statement.

“Chairman Nadler, however, rebuffed the olive branch and plowed ahead with his plan to hold Attorney General Barr in contempt for upholding the law. I can’t imagine a more illogical hill for a legislator to die on,” he said.

It is not clear which concessions the Justice Department offered Democrats.

Mr. Nadler told reporters earlier in the evening the contempt was “still scheduled.”

It is still possible that both sides reach an accord before the contempt vote, which is set for 10 a.m.

Democrats have demanded the full report saying it’s necessary for their investigations into President Trump as they mull impeachment. Mr. Barr said he cannot release the full report because it contains confidential grand jury information, which is shielded under federal law.

Mr. Barr has made a less-redacted version available to a select group of lawmakers, but Democrats say that isn’t good enough.

The attorney general has blown through Mr. Nadler’s original deadline for handing over the unredacted Mueller report and its supporting evidence as well as watered-down demand for a less-redacted version to be available to all members of Congress.

If the Judiciary Committee votes to hold Mr. Barr in contempt, it could be the first step towards impeaching him. The panel’s Democrats are also reviewing other measures, including censure or issuing criminal, civil and administrative referrals.

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