The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to hold Barr in contempt, with 24 lawmakers voting in favor of and 16 against the motion. Democrats strongly voted for the motion and Republicans vehemently objected.
The motion to hold Barr in contempt will move to the House floor later this month, where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) signaled this week she will follow the committee’s lead on the contempt motion.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said in his opening statement during the hearing, “Today, we consider a report recommending that the House of Representatives hold AG William Barr in contempt of Congress for defying a valid subpoena issued by this committee. This is not a step we take lightly.”
“Trump and his enablers may brazenly try to cover up misdeeds uncovered by the special counsel, but in this committee, we will represent the American people and ensure the truth is known. … If allowed to go unchecked, this obstruction means the end of congressional oversight,” Nadler said.
Nadler said that the Donald Trump administration was acting in “blanket defiance” of Congress’s duties, which he claimed was “entirely within legal rights” to receive.
Attorney General Barr has claimed that the DOJ has traditionally redacted information relating to grand jury information, information that would compromise intelligence gathering and sources, information that could interfere with ongoing investigations, and information that could impact the privacy and reputations of people not directly relating to the case in question.
House Judiciary Committee ranking member Doug Collins (R-GA) said during the hearing that Democrats want to “neutralize” Barr because they fear what he might discover regarding FISA abuses at the Justice Department and FBI.
Rep. Collins said: