Jul 8, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Democrats seek criminal contempt against William Barr, Wilbur Ross: Report

Wilbur Ross sitting in a chair.

Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

According to Politico, senior Democratic aides said Monday that Democrats will continue to pursue criminal contempt against Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Attorney General William Barr for not complying with subpoenas for documents on the 2020 census.

Why it matters: The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued its contempt report for the two figures to the full chamber last month, but little is likely to come from the effort.

  • "The Justice Department is almost certainly not going to charge the attorney general or another cabinet secretary with a crime," according to Politico.
  • "DOJ has urged officials not to comply with the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s subpoenas, which seek information related to the decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census," Politico writes.

Nonetheless, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that she's planned to schedule a full House vote "soon," according to the New York Times.

Catch up quick: Democrats have been trying to block a Trump administration effort to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census, which they say is meant to undermine immigrant response and amp up Republican representation.

Last month, the Supreme Court, for now, shot down the question. Ross later conceded that the census forms would be printed without it. But President Trump claimed last week that he is seeking other means around the court's ruling.

What's next: Earlier Monday, Barr said he's been having "constant discussions" with Trump on the question and that the administration will determine its next move this week.

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