Calls to jail Attorney General Barr grow from Democratic ranks

Monday, May 13, 2019
By Paul Martin

By Brooke Singman
Fox News
5/13/2019

In the days since the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress, more and more Democratic lawmakers have opened the door to the possibility of arresting the Justice Department leader in a bid to force cooperation — despite party powerbrokers signaling opposition to such a radical step.

The committee last week voted to hold Barr in contempt for failing to comply with a congressional subpoena for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s unredacted Russia report and underlying materials, as President Trump asserted executive privilege to protect those same files from release.

The panel’s party-line decision sent the measure to the House floor for a final vote. If approved, the measure would be referred to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia—who could choose not to act. House Democrats could also pursue a lawsuit.

But there’s a more drastic step that has been gaining traction among some of Barr’s fiercest critics — the possibility of dragging Barr in to testify or jailing the AG for defying the subpoena.

Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., was one of the first calling for the House to pursue “inherent contempt,” which would have Barr arrested by the sergeant at arms—a tactic reportedly not employed since the 1930s.

Several other lawmakers are now warming to the idea.

“We know how to arrest people around here,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., told Politico. “And if we need to arrest someone, the [House] sergeant-at-arms will know how to do it. I’m not afraid of that.”

He added: “If they can arrest my constituents, we can arrest someone else who’s disobeying the law.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., also touted Congress’ “inherent authority,” which she said was “at our disposal.”

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