Cummings Issues Statement Advising GOP to Vote in Favor of Holding Barr in Contempt
Washington, D.C. (May 8, 2019)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement after Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee cited his previous remarks in 2012 during the contempt hearing for Attorney General Eric Holder:
“If Republicans want to cite my statement from when they held Attorney General Holder in contempt, they should cite my full statement—it shows exactly why that situation then was fundamentally different than the situation today. If Republicans truly value my opinion on this matter, I advise them to vote in favor of holding Attorney General Barr in contempt today.
“President Trump has vowed to fight all of our subpoenas—regardless of their substance or the merit of his legal claims. The scale of President Trump’s efforts to obstruct and cover up wrongdoing is exponentially greater than anything we have ever seen before.
“At the time of the Republican contempt vote seven years ago, Attorney General Holder had already produced more than 7,000 pages of documents to our Committee. Here, Attorney General Barr has refused to turn over any.
“The night before the contempt vote in 2012, Attorney General Holder personally came to meet with Chairman Issa and me and offered to provide copies of additional internal deliberative documents. Here, Attorney General Barr is blocking the production of all documents.
“Attorney General Holder made a fair and reasonable offer to resolve the impasse after providing thousands of pages of documents and numerous interviews. Here, Attorney General Barr refused to even show up for the Judiciary Committee’s hearing and refused to produce even one document that is subject to subpoena.”
In 2012, Ranking Member Cummings asked for a short delay to allow the Committee to consider an eight-page legal document asserting executive privilege and an offer from Attorney General Holder to produce additional deliberative internal documents.
In this instance, the Attorney General has provided a two-page document that cites that the President has not reviewed the documents and is making a protective assertion of privilege pending a final decision on the matter. There is nothing for Committee Members to review and consider as there is no legal argument presented.