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The House just voted to hold Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn in civil contempt

[https://www.businessinsider.com/house-vote-attorney-general-barr-don-mcgahn-civil-contempt-2019-5?utm_source=reddit.com](https://www.businessinsider.com/house-vote-attorney-general-barr-don-mcgahn-civil-contempt-2019-5?utm_source=reddit.com)

Barr will now be forced to cooperate with Congress subpoenas. This could be very bad for Trump.

General info on Barr for those who don’t know/more: credit to u/PoppinKREAM who compiled the following notes. I am simply putting this here to aid in Keeping Track. All credit goes to that user.

**Attorney General Barr has shown his unwavering loyalty to President Trump and has made some extremely concerning decisions to protect the President.**

* Attorney General Barr’s decision to summarize the report and release cherry picked findings in a March 24 letter to Congress.[[1]](https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/03/us/politics/william-barr-mueller-report.html)
* Attorney General Barr’s decision to withhold summaries Mueller’s team wrote about their findings that were intended for easier public consumption.[[2]](https://www.voanews.com/a/nadler-wants-summary-of-mueller-report/4863070.html)
* Attorney General Barr reportedly decided to brief the White House on the report before releasing it to Congress.[[3]](https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/17/us/politics/trump-mueller-report.html)
* Attorney General Barr’s decision to hold a press conference to put his own spin on Mueller’s investigation before lawmakers and the public could obtain the report.[[4]](https://www.apnews.com/770b9c93660047a2933a1896f0aeae40)
* Before William Barr was nominated by President Trump he penned a memo defending the executive branch of government and asserted that the President could not obstruct justice.[[5]](https://www.lawfareblog.com/bill-barrs-very-strange-memo-obstruction-justice)

It should also be noted that Attorney General Barr was involved in the aftermath of the Iran-Contra scandal where the Reagan administration illegally sold arms to Iran and used that money to fund rebels in Nicaragua. During his first tenure as the AG, Barr advised President Bush Sr. to pardon Reagan administrator officials who had broken the law.[[6]](http://movies2.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/1224.html)

1. [New York Times – Some on Mueller’s Team Say Report Was More Damaging Than Barr Revealed](https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/03/us/politics/william-barr-mueller-report.html)
2. [Voice of America – House Committee Chair Wants Mueller’s Summaries of Report on Trump](https://www.voanews.com/a/nadler-wants-summary-of-mueller-report/4863070.html)
3. [New York Times – White House and Justice Dept. Officials Discussed Mueller Report Before Release](https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/17/us/politics/trump-mueller-report.html)
4. [Associated Press – The Latest: Top Democrat says Barr is trying to spin report](https://www.apnews.com/770b9c93660047a2933a1896f0aeae40)
5. [Lawfare Blog – Bill Barr’s Very Strange Memo on Obstruction of Justice](https://www.lawfareblog.com/bill-barrs-very-strange-memo-obstruction-justice)
6. [New York Times – Bush Pardons 6 in Iran Affair, Aborting a Weinberger Trial; Prosecutor Assails ‘Cover-Up’](http://movies2.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/1224.html) – *Article from 1992*

**Beginning on page 112 of Volume 2 Special Counsel Mueller confirms that President Trump attempted to fire the Special Counsel. The following pages of text detail the fall-out between the President and former White House Counsel Don McGahn as the President attempted to convince McGahn to lie to investigators about firing Mueller.^**[**[1]**](https://media.npr.org/assets/news/2019/04/muellerreport.pdf)

*Page 112 Volume II of the Mueller Report*

>**The President Orders McGahn to Deny that the President Tried to Fire the Special Counsel**
>
>**Overview**
>
>In late January 2018, the media reported that in June 2017 the President had ordered McGahn to have the Special Counsel fired based on purported conflicts of interest but McGahn had refused, saying he would quit instead. After the story broke, the President, through his personal counsel and two aides, sought to have McGahn deny that he had been directed to remove the Special Counsel. Each time he was approached, McGahn responded that he would not refute the press accounts because they were accurate in reporting on the President’s effort to have the Special Counsel removed. The President later personally met with McGahn in the Oval Office with only the Chief of Staff present and tried to get McGahn to say that the President never ordered him to fire the Special Counsel. McGahn refused and insisted his memory of the President’s direction to remove the Special Counsel was accurate. In that same meeting, the President challenged McGahn for taking notes of his discussions with the President and asked why he had told Special Counsel investigators that he had been directed to have the Special Counsel removed.

1. [Department of Justice – Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In the 2016 Presidential Election](https://media.npr.org/assets/news/2019/04/muellerreport.pdf)

**So why has Congress been forced to hold members of the executive in contempt? The Trump administration has engaged in unprecedented stonewalling in an attempt to subvert Congressional oversight duties enshrined by the Constitution. With the passing of the civil contempt vote the House has authorized its committee leaders to pursue civil contempt cases in order to get information for their multiple ongoing investigations into President Trump. A welcome decision for a clear path forward following this administration’s stonewalling.**

* President Trump has sued Congress to block their constitutional oversight duties.[[1]](https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/22/us/politics/trump-sues-congress.html) Following the lawsuit against Congress the President and his family sued 2 banks, Deutsche Bank and Capital One, in an attempt to block them from responding to Congressional subpoenas.[[2]](https://www.npr.org/2019/04/30/718597829/trump-sues-2-banks-to-block-democrats-from-investigating-his-finances) However a few weeks ago a judge ruled against President Trump paving the way for the banks to comply with Congressional subpoenas and requests.[[3]](https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-banks/judge-rules-against-trump-paves-way-for-banks-to-provide-his-business-records-to-congress-idUSKCN1SS12V)
* Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin refused to comply to an initial Congressional request deadline for the President’s tax returns and requested for more time before he made a decision on whether or not he would comply.[[4]](https://www.rollcall.com/news/congress/trump-tax-returns-put-mnuchin-legal-jeopardy) Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has decided not to comply and is in violation of the law for refusing to comply to the Congressional request.[[5]](https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/6103)

>**Disclosure to Committees of Congress**
>
>**Committee on Ways and Means, Committee on Finance, and Joint Committee on Taxation**
>
>Upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate, or the chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request, except that anyreturn or return information which can be associated with, or otherwise identify, directly or indirectly, a particular taxpayer shall be furnished to such committee only when sitting in closed executive session unless such taxpayer otherwise consents in writing to such disclosure.

* The White House refused a request for Stephen Miller to testify on immigration policy to the House Oversight committee.[[6]](https://www.foxnews.com/politics/white-house-declines-house-oversight-committee-invitation-for-stephen-miller-to-testify-on-trump-immigration-policies)
* House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings has scheduled a vote to hold Attorney General Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with bipartisan subpoenas issued as part of the Committee’s investigation into the Trump Administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.[[7]](https://oversight.house.gov/news/press-releases/cummings-schedules-vote-to-hold-barr-and-ross-in-contempt-for-blocking-census)

1. [New York Times – Trump and His Businesses Sue House Democrats to Hide Accounting Records](https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/22/us/politics/trump-sues-congress.html)
2. [NPR – Trump Sues 2 Banks To Block Democrats From Investigating His Finances](https://www.npr.org/2019/04/30/718597829/trump-sues-2-banks-to-block-democrats-from-investigating-his-finances)
3. [Reuters – Judge rules against Trump, paves way for banks to provide his business records to Congress](https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-banks/judge-rules-against-trump-paves-way-for-banks-to-provide-his-business-records-to-congress-idUSKCN1SS12V)
4. [Roll Call – Mnuchin misses Trump tax returns deadline; asks for more time](https://www.rollcall.com/news/congress/trump-tax-returns-put-mnuchin-legal-jeopardy)
5. [Cornell Law – 26 U.S. Code § 6103.Confidentiality and disclosure of returns and return information](https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/6103)
6. [Fox News – White House declines Cummings’ invitation for Stephen Miller to testify on Trump immigration policies](https://www.foxnews.com/politics/white-house-declines-house-oversight-committee-invitation-for-stephen-miller-to-testify-on-trump-immigration-policies)
7. [United States Government Committee on Oversight and Reform – Cummings Schedules Vote to Hold Barr and Ross In Contempt for Blocking Census Investigation](https://oversight.house.gov/news/press-releases/cummings-schedules-vote-to-hold-barr-and-ross-in-contempt-for-blocking-census)

**Why civil contempt?**

Both civil and criminal contempt can get you thrown in a cell.

We don’t want criminal contempt here. We want civil contempt. Criminal contempt can be pardoned. Civil cannot.

With civil contempt you are said to “hold the keys to your own jail cell”. Comply with the subpoena or other lawful order, and you’re released. Don’t comply, and you get to sit there until you do.

Criminal contempt requires a criminal trial with full blown criminal constitutional protections. And if convicted, then you’re sentenced for a set period of time. That’s not what we’re going for here. We want them to be forced to comply with Congress’ subpoena.

**Laymans terms**

Barr is in trouble for his actions. If he doesn’t comply with Congressional court orders, etc, he [could] be put in prison. The original article is wrong in one sense: you can go to jail in civil contempt as well as criminal contempt.

**What this means in regards to Trump**

Congress will likely have access to a full, unredacted Mueller report, and potentially more. Could aid in congressional investigation and lead to impeachment proceedings.

If there is anything I missed/doesn’t make sense, please let me know. I’ve tried to compile several sources of information into one post, so it might not be totally coherent. Additionally, I’m not sure if I’ve added the right flair. Please correct me if there is a better one.

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