Yesterday, Palmer Report spelled out that, for reasons known only to him, Attorney General William Barr is trying really hard to convince House Democrats not to formalize the contempt of Congress charges against him. Barr has quietly begun offering Democrats all kinds of things in return. But House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler is telling Barr to go take a hike.
William Barr offered to resume negotiations with the House Judiciary Committee over redacted Mueller report materials, if the committee revoked its vote to hold Barr in contempt, which would prevent the full House from formalizing contempt charges next Tuesday. But last night Nadler sent this message back to Barr: “The pace with which we are proceeding is consistent with the exceptional urgency of this matter: an attack on our elections that was welcomed by our President and benefited his campaign, followed by acts of obstruction by the President designed to interfere with the investigation of that attack.” Translation: bite me.
So why does this matter? Last month Adam Schiff agreed to drop the House Intel Committee’s contempt proceedings against William Barr, but that was over a more isolated matter – and in return Schiff gained access to the ongoing Trump-Russia counterintelligence probe. Schiff was able to make this deal because he knew that the House Judiciary Committee was going to put Barr’s back against the wall on contempt anyway. Perhaps Barr thought he could cut separate deals to worm his way out of contempt entirely – but that’s clearly not happening.
In fact, even as the full House prepares to hold William Barr in contempt next Tuesday over his defiance of the House Judiciary Committee on the Mueller report, Elijah Cummings and the House Oversight Committee are voting this week to hold Barr in contempt over Donald Trump’s census scandal – presumably so the full House can formalize that on Tuesday as well.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report