Nadler makes counteroffer, threatens Barr with contempt | News Coverage from USA

Nadler makes counteroffer, threatens Barr with contempt

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., issued a counteroffer to Attorney General William Barr to turn over an unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and underlying evidence, warning that he will begin contempt proceedings if Barr refuses. 

“The Committee is prepared to make every realistic effort to reach an accommodation with the Department,” Nadler wrote in his letter to Barr. “But if the Department persists in its baseless refusal to comply with a validly issued subpoena, the Committee will move to contempt proceedings and seek further legal recourse.”

Nadler is giving Barr until Monday at 9 a.m. to respond. If the attorney general does not comply with the subpoena, the committee will hold Barr in contempt of Congress, according to the letter. The House Judiciary Chairman initially issued a subpoena to the Department of Justice on April 19 for the requested materials.

More: Attorney General William Barr refuses to testify at House hearing about special counsel Robert Mueller

The letter comes a day after Barr declined to show up to a scheduled hearing before the House Judiciary Committee to discuss Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

In his latest offer, Nadler said his committee is “willing to prioritize a specific, defined set of underlying investigative and evidentiary materials for immediate production,” focusing on materials that are specifically cited in the report.

In addition, he is also requesting that the Justice Department immediately allow access to the redacted portions of the 448-page report to all members of Congress and appropriate staff. Currently, only 12 top lawmakers are allowed to view a less-redacted version of the report. Democrats have refused to view it.

Nadler, however, refuses to back down from his demand that the Justice Department and Congress seek a court order to access grand-jury material, which Barr has refused to provide to Congress, citing that is legally prohibited from releasing that material.

More: Lawmakers clash as Attorney General William Barr skips House hearing on Mueller report

The Department of Justice did not respond to request of comment.

Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, criticized Nadler’s “absurd demands” on the Justice Department.

“As Chairman Nadler continues to turn down free information from the Justice Department, he once again places absurd demands on the department to comply with his oversight request,” Collins said in the statement.

“Democrats continue to deliver inaccurate statements and abusive politics, while demanding the attorney general either break the law or face contempt charges,” he continued. “Their chief complaint against the attorney general is his upholding the rule of law when they wish him to disregard it.”

 

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