The House of Representatives adopted a resolution on June 11 authorizing Rep. Jerrold Nadler, chair of the House Committee on the Judiciary, to go to court to pursue civil enforcement of subpoenas issued to Attorney General William Barr and former White House Counsel Don McGahn. Importantly, however, the measure also makes changes that will increase the power of House committees to pursue enforcement of additional subpoenas.
Latest in contempt
The current tug of war between the executive branch and Congress has revived interest in the exact scope of congressional investigative power. On May 6, the House Judiciary Committee voted to recommend that Attorney General William Barr be held in contempt of Congress for his refusal to provide the committee with an unredacted version of the special counsel’s report.
With the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives sporting an aggressive oversight agenda on national security and foreign policy issues, it’s only a matter of time before a raft of congressional subpoenas are fired off from Capitol Hill. Also only a matter of time is resistance to those subpoenas based on the assertion of executive privilege by the Trump administration.