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DOJ: The Contempt Vote Against Barr Is Bogus and This Is Why

The Department of Justice is pushing back on the House Oversight Committee which voted yesterday to hold Attorney General Bill Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in civil contempt of Congress. The vote was taken after Democrats on the Committee claimed both agencies failed to turn over information related to a question about citizenship being included on the 2020 census. 

According to DOJ, the vote was taken in haste and the Department was in the process of complying with document requests. 

“The Committee’s attempt to define the Department of Justice’s good-faith cooperation as ‘contempt’ defies logic. Today’s action by Chairman Cummings and his Committee undermines Congress’s credibility with the American people. The Department of Justice has tirelessly worked for months to accommodate the Committee’s requests for information, including producing over 17,000 pages of documents and making senior Department officials available for questioning. Despite the Committee’s political games, the Department will remain focused on its critical work safeguarding the American people and upholding the rule of law," DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec released in a statement about the vote. 

Additionally, DOJ argues the "Department has made eight submissions to the Committee in its ongoing rolling document production, totaling more than 17,000 pages(productions on February 25, 2019, March 15, 2019, March 29, 2019, April 11,2019, April 16, 2019, April 26, 2019, May 10, 2019, and May 24, 2019)" and that "The Department has also identified tens of thousands more responsive pages that it is in the process of producing."

Before the vote took place on Wednesday, President Trump asserted executive privilege over a number of documents related to the census question. The Supreme Court has taken up a case on the issue and will issue a decision by the end of June.

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