The House Judiciary Committee is preparing to vote on whether or not to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress. The Democrats are unhappy because Barr refuses to release a full unredacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report.
The document that has been made public has very few redactions. The redactions that did take place fall under four categories: (1) grand-jury information, which, by law, cannot be made public; (2) investigative techniques that could harm ongoing intelligence or law enforcement activities; (3) information that, if released, could harm ongoing law enforcement matters, including charged cases where court rules and orders bar public disclosure by the parties of case information; and (4) information that would unduly infringe upon the personal privacy and reputitional interests of peripheral third parties.
Before the House Judiciary Committee makes their official vote, various members of the Committee made statements. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) delivered a fiery speech about the Democrats' attacks on Barr, despite his best efforts to be transparent while following the rule of law.
"Bill Barr is following the law and what's his reward? Democrats are going to hold him in contempt," Jordan said. "I don't think today is about getting information. I don't think it's about getting the unredacted Mueller report. I don't think last week's hearing was actually about staff questioning the attorney general. I think it's, as my colleague said earlier, I think it's all about trying to destroy Bill Barr because Democrats are nervous he's going to get to the bottom of everything. He's going to get to the bottom of how and why this investigation started in the first place."
Jordan reiterated a point Barr made a few weeks ago: there were massive failures at the head of the FBI. It's why FBI Director James Comey and FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe were fired. It's why FBI General Counsel left the department and is undergoing investigation. It's why Lisa Paige and Peter Strzok left the department.
"There was certainly a failure of leadership at the upper echelon of the FBI," Jordan said.
But he also reminded Committee members of one important tidbit: Barr said spying did occur and his concern about said spying is warranted.
"He said, in his judgement, he thinks there may have been unauthorized surveillance and political surveillance. Scary terms," Jordan said.
He also said something his colleagues probably hadn't thought of: each and every one of them should want Barr to investigate these surveillance issues because it could happen to any one of them.
"In the partisan commotion surrounding the Mueller report, it would be well to remember what can be done to a president can be done any of us," he said.
Bill Barr is following the law. What's his reward? Democrats are going to hold him in contempt. pic.twitter.com/slK3cXf3k2— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) May 8, 2019