May 2, 2019

House Democrats give Barr one more chance to turn over full Mueller report

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) told reporters Thursday that Democrats would make "one more good faith attempt to negotiate" with the Justice Department to turn over the full, unredacted Mueller report, before moving to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress.

The big picture: Barr didn't show up to his appearance before the committee on Thursday after Democrats voted to allow staff lawyers extra time to question him about the Mueller report — leaving Nadler to speak for 16 minutes before an empty chair with Barr's nameplate. The Justice Department also ignored the deadline for a subpoena to turn over the full report by Wednesday evening.

  • Nadler said he would focus getting ahold of the full Mueller report before issuing a subpoena for Barr to testify. AP notes that a contempt vote by the committee would send a criminal referral to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia — a branch of the Justice Department that would likely defend the administration.
  • As Axios has previously reported, Trump's White House appears to have figured out the secret of congressional oversight: there's not much Democrats can do if they say no to everything. In all the most recent examples of an administration official being held in contempt of Congress, the case has fizzled.

The other side: House Judiciary Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-Ga.) slammed Nadler for his "ludicrous demands," claiming: "The reason Bill Barr isn't here today is because the Democrats decided they didn't want him here today ... Chairman Nadler sabotaged his own hearing."

What to watch: Nadler said he and the Justice Department are "firming up the date" for special counsel Mueller to testify before the committee, hopefully before May 15.

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The cracks in Trump’s GOP shield

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President Trump’s mockery of coronavirus masks, his false claims about the dangers of voting by mail and his insinuations that a cable TV nemesis was involved in a murder are testing more high-profile Republicans' willingness to look the other way.

The big picture: Republicans learned a long time ago how dangerous it is to alienate Trump’s base — which is why any hint of disagreement, even a whisper, is so remarkable when it happens.

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U.S. cities crack down on protesters

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Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

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George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between law enforcement and protesters in several major U.S. cities Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the country.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.