House Democrats won’t hold contempt floor vote anytime soon

House Democrats won’t hold contempt floor vote anytime soon

“The president has, in effect, made a blanket statement that he’s not cooperating with any subpoenas. That is totally unacceptable,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Wednesday. | Alex Edelman/Getty Images Congress House Democrats won't hold contempt floor vote anytime soon By JOHN BRESNAHAN and HEATHER CAYGLE 05/15/2019 12:05 PM EDT Share on Facebook Share on Twitter House Democrats will not hold floor votes on contempt resolutions against Attorney General William Barr or any other Trump administration officials until at least June, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on Wednesday. Hoyer’s comments made official what has already been clear inside the House Democratic Caucus — Hoyer, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other party leaders are still wrestling with how to respond to President Donald Trump’s broad refusal to cooperate with subpoenas for documents and testimony related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, as well as his own personal finances.Story Continued Below Pelosi and her top lieutenants have shown no interest in impeaching Trump despite repeated calls to do so from some rank-and-file lawmakers, as there is no GOP support for such a move and it could backfire politically against Democrats. The Justice Department won’t act on any criminal contempt resolution approved by House Democrats, leaving them with the choice of suing Trump in court as part of a civil contempt finding, a time-consuming process. And senior Democrats privately scoff at the idea of using “inherent contempt” authority — having Congress detain or fine witnesses who won’t cooperate with subpoenas — although a number of junior Democrats want to try it, despite the fact it hasn’t been attempted by the House in more than 80 years. “I don’t anticipate it will be done this month. We only have one week [left],” Hoyer told reporters on Wednesday when asked about the contempt resolution against Barr, which was approved by the House Judiciary Committee last week over Barr’s failure to turn over an unredacted copy of the Mueller report after he was subpoenaed. “But again, I want to emphasize this is a very serious matter. We are taking it very seriously.” Sign up here for POLITICO Huddle A daily play-by-play of congressional news in your inbox. Email Sign Up
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