The Trump administration is now openly engaged in undoing the foundations of our democracy. Corruption is rampant. The president himself likely obstructed justice multiple times only for his handpicked Attorney General William Barr to ride in and save him by refusing to press charges. Barr himself has demonstrated total derision for the rule of law and has denied several subpoenas from Congress. The man is a disgrace to his office and should be asked to resign immediately.
Now, Democrats are moving to hold him accountable. Politico reports that the House Oversight and Reform Committee is moving ahead with plans to hold Barr as well as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress. Barr was previously found in contempt of Congress by the House Judiciary Committee over his refusal to hand over the full, unredacted Mueller report.
This time, Barr and Ross have refused to respond to a previous subpoena which demanded that they provide information about the administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the census in 2020. Critics suspect this is a blatant attempt to undermine the validity of the census numbers and give Republicans a leg up. It’s also a transparent attempt to pander to the virulently xenophobic wing of the president’s base.
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“Unfortunately, your actions are part of a pattern. The Trump administration has been engaged in one of the most unprecedented cover-ups since Watergate, extending from the White House to multiple federal agencies and departments of the government and across numerous investigations,” wrote Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) in his letters to Barr and Ross.
“The tactics of this cover-up are now clear. The Administration has been challenging Congress’ core authority to conduct oversight under the Constitution, questioning the legislative bases for congressional inquiries, objecting to committee rules and precedents that have been in place for decades under both Republican and Democratic leadership, and making baseless legal arguments to avoid producing documents and testimony,” Cummings went on.
The Chairman stated that he might be willing to pushback the vote on contempt of Congress if Barr and Ross cave and hand over the requested documents by this Thursday. Given their past behavior though this seems unlikely. There is a near certainty that Cummings will be forced to hold the vote and bring these crooks to heel.