When Democrats Were Against Holding the AG in Contempt

May 10, 2019

The House Judiciary Committee voted this week to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt for refusing to release the unredacted Mueller Report. Democrats, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) have rushed forward with charging Barr with contempt and will likely have the entire House vote on it in the coming days. Some Democrats want to go even further by impeaching Barr or sending the Sergeant at Arms to arrest him until he decides to testify.

Flashback to 2012, Democrats had a different view of holding the attorney general in contempt for refusing to release documents. Republicans in Congress, held then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for refusing to release documents related to the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal. Democrats walked out during the vote and condemned the vote as "evil" and called it a "political witch hunt."

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) led the committee in voting for the contempt charge but in 2012 described the contempt charge of Holder as "shameful" and "politically-motivated."

"Just joined the #walkout of the House chamber to protest the shameful, politically-motivated GOP vote holding AG [Eric] Holder in contempt," Nadler tweeted in 2012.

Unless Democrats decide to go arrest Barr until he testifies, their fight over the release of documents could take some time. Politico reports that the fight over the Fast and Furious documents was settled this week.