House Committee Vote on Civil and Criminal Contempt For Barr and Ross
The House Oversight Committee voted 24-15 to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress related to the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
The contempt resolution includes citations for both civil and criminal contempt. House Democrats have now the option to take this to the floor with both criminal and civil contempt.
According to a committee aide who spoke to CNN, a criminal contempt vote would have to go through the floor. However, civil contempt could go through the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, which is made up of the three highest-ranked House Democrats and two highest-ranked House Republicans.
Ross has called the planned committee vote “an empty stunt,” and in an interview with CNBC (video below) on Tuesday said, “Please don’t tell me we’re not cooperating.”
“What we are doing is cooperating in a rational way that’s consistent with the rules, the regulations, the laws and prior practice,” Ross said, adding, “We have produced to the House Oversight Committee 14,000 pages of material. I testified before them for almost seven hours. We’re producing three more witnesses.”