House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy questioned whether House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler has what it takes to “handle the gavel” the day after he and fellow Democrats voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress.
“If you listen to it, the question continues to be raised that Nadler can’t even handle the gavel,” McCarthy told reporters. “Not only how he dealt with the last committee hearing, it comes into doubt regardless of what the issue is, whether he’s capable of being chairman.”
“He was asking in a subpoena for Attorney General Barr to break the law or else he would hold him in contempt,” he added.
After voting to hold Barr in contempt, the New York Democrat told reporters that he and his fellow Democrats “did not relish” holding the attorney general in contempt for not turning over the entire fully unredacted special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and its underlying evidence, but felt they “had no choice.”
McCarthy countered that the chairman did not even take the time to read the nearly completely unredacted report the Department of Justice provided.
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The California Republican pointed out that 98.5 percent of the report is available to view overall, and 99.9 percent of Vol. II is unredacted, which addresses whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice.
“I think it goes to the character of who Nadler is that he doesn’t even take the time to go to read it,” said McCarthy, which the minority leader stated he had done.
He further noted that the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee at least had the professionalism to stay through Wednesday’s proceedings, in contrast to Nadler, who in 2012 walked off the House floor refusing to even vote on whether then-Attorney General Eric Holder should be held in contempt of Congress.
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The New York Democrat tweeted at the time, “Just joined the #walkout of the House chamber to protest the shameful, politically-motivated GOP vote holding AG Holder in contempt.”
The Republican-controlled House voted to find Holder in contempt of Congress in June 2012 for his failure to turn over documents related to the DOJ’s Operation Fast and Furious. As part of the operation, which ran from 2009-11, according to CNN, federal agencies allowed illegal weapons sales to take place in order to track buyers and sellers.
Fast and Furious came to light when U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed in southern Arizona in 2010 by a Mexican national using an AK-47-style weapon trafficked as part of the operation, Fox News reported.
The vote to hold Holder in contempt was 255-67, with 17 Democrats siding with the GOP.
According to Politico, dozens of Democratic members marched off the House floor in protest. A total of 108 Democrats are listed as not voting.
Just joined the #walkout of the House chamber to protest the shameful, politically-motivated GOP vote holding AG Holder in contempt
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) June 28, 2012
In a Wednesday Op-Ed for FoxNews.com, House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia pointed out the significant difference in the timetable for the contempt vote against Holder and that against Barr.
“Democrats are moving this contempt resolution at lightning speed,” wrote Collins.
“When the Oversight Committee held Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, more than 250 days had passed between a subpoena and the committee’s vote to hold him in contempt,” the lawmaker continued. “More than 450 days passed between that committee’s initial request to the Justice Department and the committee’s contempt vote.”
In the case of Barr, “They have moved from request to contempt vote in only 43 days, and yet the Justice Department remained at the negotiating table – waiting for Democrats to arrive in good faith,” Collins recounted.
The congressman went on to argue the contempt vote is a political play by Democrats who are angry Mueller did not find Trump colluded with the Russians and that Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein determined the president did not obstruct justice during the investigation.
Additionally, Collins believes the Democrats are concerned about Barr’s next moves.
He explained: “Democrats are afraid of what the attorney general will find when he completes his ongoing review of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuses at the Justice Department, including how the Russia investigation began.”
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