The move will aim to hold Barr in civil contempt, not criminal contempt, which Democratic Party leaders have noted would be useless since the attorney general would never face charges from his own Justice Department.
"The resolution will authorize the Judiciary Committee to pursue civil action to seek enforcement of its subpoenas in federal court," reads a Monday statement by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). "It also authorizes House Committees that have issued subpoenas as part of their oversight and investigation responsibilities to seek civil enforcement of those subpoenas when they are ignored."
"This Administration's systematic refusal to provide Congress with answers and cooperate with Congressional subpoenas is the biggest cover-up in American history, and Congress has a responsibility to provide oversight on behalf of the American people," Hoyer wrote.
The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the DOJ for an unredacted version of former special counsel Robert Mueller's Russiagate report last month, along with Mueller's underlying evidence. Barr released a redacted version in April, but declined House requests for the unredacted report, which a department spokesperson called "premature and unnecessary," Sputnik reported, and then declined to testify before Congress on the report.
Mueller's two-year investigation found no proof of collusion between Donald Trump's presidential election campaign and the Russian government — as both groups had always maintained was the case. It was neutral on the issue of whether or not Trump obstructed the special counsel's investigation, leaving it up to Barr to decide. However, when Barr concluded there weren't grounds to impeach Trump for obstruction of justice, Democrats cried foul and began demanding to see the entire report and the evidence used to draw it up, questioning Barr's motivations. Mueller's comments last week did little to quell that determination.
McGahn is included in the vote for his refusal last month to testify before Congress after being subpoenaed for knowledge he might have with regards to whether or not Trump told him to fire Mueller or otherwise interfere in the Special Counsel's investigation. McGahn, who served as the White House's chief lawyer for the first two years of the Trump administration, said he was directed by the White House not to comply with that subpoena.
The move follows hot on the heels of another decision to hold Barr in contempt of Congress. Earlier Monday, House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) indicated the committee's intention to hold Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt over the Trump administration's efforts to place a citizenship question on the 2020 US Census, Sputnik reported.