16:03 GMT19 June 2021
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    Rep. Rashida Tlaib said Democratic lawmakers are exploring how to arrest White House officials for not complying with congressional subpoenas.

    The congresswoman pointed to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Attorney General William Barr, who were both held in criminal contempt of Congress for defying congressional subpoenas, telling Detroit constituents at her "Congress, Coffee, and Conversation" event on Tuesday that lawmakers are focused on how best to take cabinet members into custody.

    "This is the first time we've ever had a situation like this," she said. "So they're trying to figure out, no joke, is it the DC police that goes and gets them? We don't know. Where do we hold them?"

    Tlaib said her colleagues are "trying to tread carefully" in this "uncharted territory."

    "I will tell them they can hold all those people right here in Detroit," she joked. "We'll take care of them and make sure they show up to the committee hearings."

    The House of Representatives voted to ask the Justice Department to prosecute Barr and Ross by a margin of 230 to 198, marking the second time in US history a sitting cabinet member was held in criminal contempt of Congress.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent a letter to Congress on Tuesday informing lawmakers that State Department officials would not be testifying in front of congressional committees. He characterized subpoena efforts as an "attempt to intimidate, bully, and treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State."

    Pompeo was served a subpoena last week in connection to the probe, and investigators have spoken with other cabinet members such as Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Pompeo subsequently confirmed he was on the July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Trump's subsequent hushing up of a whistleblower report about the call, which led to the impeachment inquiry.


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