The House Judiciary Committee has voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, escalating the legal battle with the Trump administration over access to special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

The committee voted 24-16 to hold Barr in contempt after the Justice Department rejected House Democrats' demands for the full Mueller report and the underlying evidence. Ahead of the vote, President Donald Trump asserted executive privilege over those materials and reserved the right to block them.

The contempt resolution against Barr now moves to the full House. If it is approved, it would trigger a criminal referral to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, which would decide whether to prosecute.

Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said the panel had to act because Trump's stonewalling is creating a "constitutional crisis."

The Justice Department said in a statement that the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee held a "politically motivated and unnecessary contempt vote."

Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec says it is disappointing that members of Congress "have chosen to engage in such inappropriate political theatrics."

She says Barr made "extraordinary efforts" to provide Congress and the public with information about Mueller's work.

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(1) comment

BCS

Holding someone in contempt for refusing to break the law. That's a new low, but the Democrats just keep on digging.

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