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Doggett (D): I Don’t Want to Throw Barr in Jail, ‘But I’m Ready to Do So’

• May 8, 2019 10:25 am

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Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D., Texas) said he's ready to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress and "throw him in jail" if need be.

Discussing the Mueller Report Tuesday on CNN's Cuomo Prime Time, Doggett accused Trump of repeatedly lying and "almost begging for impeachment." Chris Cuomo then asked what exactly House Democrats mean when they say they will hold Barr in "inherent contempt" of Congress.

"Oh, yeah. Inherent contempt. Which is, what?" Cuomo asked.

"What it means, as recognized by the United States Supreme Court in the 19th Century, is that the Congress can on its own part issue a subpoena or support the subpoena through arrest or through fines," Doggett said. "And I think we need to be prepared to do both."

Cuomo pushed back, asking Doggett if he was serious in his threat.

"You don't want to throw the AG in cuffs though, right?" Cuomo said. "I mean, you know that would cause rancor and division that we certainly would have a hard time bearing in this current climate."

"All I want for the attorney general to realize is that he has a responsibility to the public and not just as a personal attorney to Mr. Trump and to comply with the law," Doggett replied. "So if we have a lawless attorney general or a lawless secretary of the treasury or some other official, it's our responsibility as a co-equal branch of government to hold them accountable."

"Now I hear you," Cuomo began, before Doggett cut him off.

"I don't want to throw him in jail, but I'm ready to do so," Doggett said, in reference to Barr.

Democrats have called increasingly for action against Barr, after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said he committed a "crime."

"He lied to Congress. He lied to Congress. And if anybody else did that, it would be considered a crime. Nobody is above the law. Not the president of the United States and not the attorney general," Pelosi said at a press conference last week.