WASHINGTON, DC — In the face of unprecedented stonewalling and obstruction by the Trump administration, Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern (D-MA) today introduced H.Res. 430 to combat the president’s disregard for Congress’s constitutional oversight authority, the rule of law, and our nation’s separation of powers. The resolution authorizes the Judiciary Committee chair to seek civil enforcement in federal court of the subpoenas issued to Attorney General Barr and former White House Counsel McGahn regarding the Mueller report. It also reinforces key language in the House Rules to make clear that every chair of a committee or permanent select committee retains the ability to go to federal court to seek civil enforcement of their subpoenas when authorized by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group. This resolution is cosponsored by
Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA).
“We will not allow this president and his administration to turn a blind eye to the rule of law. The Trump administration is waging an unprecedented campaign of stonewalling and obstruction on issues the American people care about, including its attack on health care, its inhumane family separation policy, and the countless egregious examples laid out in the Mueller report. Enough is enough. This resolution will allow Congress to hold the president accountable while this Democratic Majority continues delivering on issues like health care and jobs,” said McGovern.
The House Judiciary Committee recently voted to hold Attorney General Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing to release the full, unredacted Mueller report and underlying evidence. President Trump has since taken the extreme step of asserting executive privilege over the entire document.
The Attorney General’s obstruction is part of a pattern of unprecedented and unconstitutional stonewalling by the Trump administration that conceals the truth from the American people and defies Congress’s constitutional oversight authority, the rule of law, and our nation’s separation of powers.
Barr’s refusal to provide documents to Congress extends beyond the Mueller report to issues that are critical to Americans’ lives, from the Department of Justice’s decision to ask the courts to unravel Americans’ health care to the administration’s cruel family separation policy. All the while, the administration continues to direct witnesses, including McGahn, to ignore subpoenas to appear before Congress.
This administration’s stonewalling is so systemic that the efficient approach to civil enforcement through the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group is required, rather than individual resolutions on the House Floor.