DOJ, citing Barr contempt vote, threatens to cut off negotiations with Congress over Mueller report
The Justice Department warned House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff if the panel moves forward with a contempt vote or other punishment against Attorney General William Barr, it will no longer work together on a deal that would allow members to view a less-redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
In a letter sent Tuesday to Schiff, D-Calif., from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd, the Justice Department proposed a meeting this week with the House Intelligence panel’s senior staff to continue to search for a compromise in response to 12 requests made by the committee.
But that meeting won’t happen if the panel decides to punish Barr for failing to turn over the unredacted report, Boyd warned.
“Should the committee take the precipitous and unnecessary action of recommending a contempt finding or other enforcement action against the Attorney General, then the Department will not likely to be able to continue to work with the Committee to accommodate its interest in these materials.”
Boyd said the panel “is willing to work with the panel on a reasonable and realistic process,” to provide members with “information pertaining to counterintelligence and foreign-intelligence activities,” outlined, but redacted, in the Mueller report, which probed Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The House Judiciary Committee cited Barr with contempt earlier this month for failing to turn over the unredacted version, even though the redactions are required by law.
The Justice Department has offered a “minimally redacted” version for all members of the House Intelligence Committee to view but Democrats have declined.