Jul 9, 2019

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

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.

Go deeper

House to vote on criminal contempt charges for Barr and Ross

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that the House will vote next week on criminal contempt charges against Attorney General Bill Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross over their failure to cooperate with a subpoena for documents related to the proposed citizenship question on the 2020 Census, Politico reports.

The state of play: Although the vote will serve as a good talking point for Democrats, it's exceedingly unlikely the Justice Department will take any action against two Trump administration officials.

Go deeper: DOJ bid to switch legal teams blocked by another Census case judge

Keep ReadingArrowJul 11, 2019

Trump admin steps up push to add citizenship question to 2020 Census

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr told AP Monday he can see a legal avenue for adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, but he declined to reveal details of the Trump administration's strategy.

Why it matters: It's the latest indication that the Trump administration is stepping up legal efforts to add the question to the 2020 Census, after the Supreme Court temporarily blocked the move. The Justice Department said Sunday a new team of government lawyers was taking over the push to include the question, per the Wall Street Journal.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jul 9, 2019

Census case judge blocks DOJ bid to switch legal teams

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

A federal judge hearing lawsuits in New York concerning the Trump administration's attempt to include a citizenship question in the 2020 Census said Tuesday it can't switch legal teams without providing "satisfactory reasons" to do so.

Why it matters: It's another blow for the Trump administration as it pushes to include the question in the 2020 Census. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman wrote in a court order that the Justice Department's attorney switch plan was "patently deficient."

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jul 10, 2019