Oh, Boy: Nadler's Continuing His Contempt Push But Still Wants Barr's Cooperation

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Posted: Jun 05, 2019 5:00 PM
Oh, Boy: Nadler's Continuing His Contempt Push But Still Wants Barr's Cooperation

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) on Tuesday sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr saying his committee is willing to continue negotiations with the Department of Justice over obtaining the full Mueller report.

The DoJ previously asked Nadler and his team to take the contempt vote off the table so negotiations could continue. 

"Your May 24, 2019 letter express 'the Committee's willingness to engage in further negotiations to resolve that dispute,' and purports to offer 'to identify specific materials that if produced would be deemed to satisfy the subpoena' while also prioritizing requests for materials from the Department. As you know, your letter comes after the Committee rejected good faith efforts by the Department to accommodate the Committee's Subpoena in much the same manner," Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote to Nadler. "Instead of pursuing the Department's proposed framework for potential production, the Committee precipitously voted on May 8, 2019, to recommend that the House of Representatives hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress. As we have previously communicated, that vote was premature and unnecessary. The Department was disappointed by the Committee's abrupt termination of ongoing negotiations aimed at reaching a reasonable accommodation that respect both sides' legitimate interests regarding the material sought. Further, the Department is disappointed by news reports indicating that Democratic leaders have scheduled a contempt vote in the House of Representatives for June 11, 2019."

Of course, Nadler rejected the ask. 

"We had an offer on the table late on the evening of May 7 when the Department suddenly declared an end to the accommodation process," Nadler wrote. "My staff was still in their offices after the close of business hours awaiting a counteroffer when the Department broke off negotiations with a letter demanding that the contempt vote – scheduled to begin the next day – be cancelled if we wished to proceed with the accommodations process."

Boyd made it clear the DoJ would continue negotiating only if the House Judiciary recanted its recommendation to hold Barr in contempt and Democrats postponed the final vote.

Here's Boyd's full letter:

Here's Nadler's full letter: