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Tag: contempt

House Dems Expect to Hold AG Barr in Contempt This Week over Mueller Report

Attorney General Barr testifying Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives is expected to vote Tuesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress after he refused to turn over unredacted copies of the Robert Mueller report.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., issued a subpoena for the records, but Barr rejected it, and the White House invoked executive privilege over the document.

House Democrats also are expected Tuesday to support holding former White House counsel Don McGhan in contempt for refusing to testify before Congress or disclose documents. The White House has invoked executive privilege to prevent McGhan from testifying or releasing documents.

Democrats believe they have the votes to hold both men in contempt, which would enable the House members to file lawsuits in hopes that a judge will order Barr and McGhan to comply.

What’s unclear is how long it would take for a lawsuit to wend its way through the court systems.

How Democrats Plan to Continue Fight over Mueller Report And Defiant Trump Officials

Former special counsel Robert Mueller. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The fight over the Robert Mueller report is far from over.

After Democrats threatened to impose fines on Attorney General William Barr for refusing to turn over the full, unredacted report, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., expressed optimism that Mueller would testify before Congress.

“The American people have a right to hear what the man who did the investigation has to say and we now know we certainly can’t rely on the attorney general who misrepresented his conclusions,” the House Intelligence Committee chairman said on “This Week” Sunday. “So he is going to testify.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

Schiff also said Democrats are not backing down from imposing fines and holding contempt hearings against Trump officials who refuse to comply with congressional subpeonas.

“We’re are going have to use that device if necessary, we’re going to have to use the power of the purse if necessary,” he said. “We’re going to have to enforce our ability to do oversight.”

Also on Sunday, Schiff said he fears the country cannot “survive another four years” of Trump.

“I don’t think this country could survive another four years of a president like this, who gets up every day trying to find new and inventive ways to divide us,” the congressman cautioned. “He doesn’t seem to understand that a fundamental aspect of his job is to try to make us a more perfect union. But that’s not at all where he’s coming from.”

Here’s What House Democrats Can Do Next After Panel Approved Contempt for Barr

AG William Barr.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The House Judiciary Committee approved a contempt resolution Wednesday after Attorney General William Barr refused to disclose Robert Mueller’s full, unredacted report, but that’s only the first step.

What options do Democrats have left?

The committee on Wednesday essentially recommended that the full House hold Bar in contempt of Congress, and that seems more likely as Democrats grow frustrated with the attorney general’s continued insistence that he will not disclose the unredacted report. President Trump also invoked executive privilege over the report.

If the full House approves the contempt resolution and the records still aren’t turned over, Democrats could then ask the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia or the Justice Department to charge Barr for failing to comply with a congressional subpoena. They also could ask a court to enforce the subpoena, or they have the authority to call on their sergeant at arms to arrest Barr.

The House and Senate have the authority to seek jail time for people who violate congressional orders, but that hasn’t happened in nearly a century, The Atlantic reports. Then again, these aren’t ordinary times.

“Its day in the sun is coming,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., told the Atlantic.

“This is not some peripheral schoolyard skirmish,” Raskin added. “This goes right to the heart of our ability to do our work as Congress of the United States.”

If Democrats don’t seek to hold Barr accountable, they could begin impeachment hearings, but that option is becoming less likely.

Whatever the case, Democrats made the first step Wednesday. What happens next is anyone’s guess.

Bannon Met Several Times This Week with Special Counsel Investigating Trump, Russia

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon met several times this week with the special counsel team investigating President Trump and his campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.

The former Breitbart news chief, who continued today to defy a subpoena to testify before a House committee about the Russia and Trump probe, was interviewed for about 20 hours by the team led by Robert Mueller, NBC News reports

Details of the interview are unclear, but Bannon is considered a key witness in the investigation because he was a close confident of Trump and played key roles in both the campaign and the presidential administration.

In an explosive book published last month, Bannon blasted the campaign’s handling of Russia and suggested the Mueller investigation will focus on money laundering. He also said it was “treasonous” for some in the Trump campaign, including the president’s son, to meet with a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016.

Bannon, who resigned in August, is facing contempt charges for continuing to refuse to answer questions by the House Intelligence Committee.

CNN reports that Bannon met briefly with the committee today and told the panel he had been instructed by the Trump administration to invoke executive privilege. 

Judge: AG Eric Holder Must Participate in Contempt Case And Can’t Appeal It

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A federal judge put an end to Attorney General Eric Holder’s request to appeal his contempt case following the bungled gun-running Operation Fast and Furious, Politico reports.

Monday’s ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson potentially puts Holder on the hot seat.

The ruling means the Justice Department likely will be forced to show a log of the events surrounding the botched sting.

A protracted legal battle is expected.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the ruling.

Justice Dept. Won’t Prosecute Eric Holder for Contempt

Atty. Gen. Holder/doj file photo

 
By Sari Horwitz
Washington Post

WASHINGTON –– The Justice Department has told House leaders that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s decision to withhold certain documents about a flawed gun operation from Congress is not a crime and he will not be prosecuted for contempt of Congress.

Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole explained the decision, which was expected, in a letter to House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). The letter was released publicly Friday, just over a week after President Obama invoked executive privilege to withhold the documents.

In May 1984, Theodore B. Olson, then assistant attorney general, wrote that U.S. attorneys are not required to refer congressional contempt charges to a grand jury or prosecute an executive branch official “who carries out the President’s instruction to invoke the President’s claim of executive privilege before a committee.”

To read more click here.

Criticism of AG Holder Nothing New in Brass-Knuckle Politics

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When Congress voted Thursday  to hold Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, he became yet another attorney general entangled in a distracting crisis that is threatening his leadership, the New York Times reports.

The U.S. House threatened to hold the last Republican attorney general, Michael B. Mukasey, in contempt for withholding Justice Department documents.

His predecessor, Alberto Gonzales, resigned under pressure after the mass firings of federal prosecutors.  Before him, Attorney General John Ashcroft came under fire on accusations that he dismissed terrorism warnings prior to Sept. 11, 2001, the New York Times reported.

Rewind to Janet Reno, the attorney general who served under President Bill Clinton. She caught heavy criticism for refusing to appoint a special prosecutor to probe Democratic fundraising and was threatened with contempt by the Republican-led House oversight committee.

“It’s hard to think of a recent attorney general who’s had smooth sailing,” Dan Marcus, a law professor at American University who served as a senior Justice Department official during Ms. Reno’s battles, told the New York Times.

Breaking News: House Votes to Holder Atty. General Holder in Contempt

doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In an election year, where politicians in Washington eat and breath partisan politics, the House voted Thursday to hold Atty. General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt. He becomes the first Attorney General to be held in contempt of Congress.

The Republican led contempt action was in response to allegations that Holder had failed to produce documents relating to the botched ATF Fast and Furious operation that encouraged Arizona gun dealer to sell to middlemen, all with the hopes of tracing the weapons to the Mexican cartels.

The Washington Post reported that the vote was 255 to 67.

What happens now?

The House will send the matter to the D.C. U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen, who will have to decide whether to file criminal charges against Holder, who is his boss.

In a statement, according to the Post, Holder said the vote “is the regrettable culmination of what became a misguided – and politically motivated – investigation during an election year.” Holder added that the Republicans leading the investigation “have focused on politics over public safety.”

To read more click here.