House votes two Trump Cabinet officials in contempt over Census

House votes two Trump Cabinet officials in contempt over Census

Accusing the Trump Administration of intentionally withholding documents and information about the failed effort by President Donald Trump to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, the House on Wednesday voted along party lines to find the Attorney General and Secretary of Commerce in Contempt of Congress.

"Neither of the Departments have provided the documents we have asked for," said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), as the House resolution targeted both Attorney General William Barr, and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

"I even asked Secretary Ross to meet with me personally," Cummings said on the House floor. "He refused."

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It was the second time Barr had been held in contempt by the current Congress; the first was a civil contempt citation passed by the full House for ignoring a subpoena for his testimony about the Russia investigation and the Mueller Report.

Democrats said it was nothing but a cover-up by the White House.

Just before the vote, Barr and Ross sent a letter to Democrats asking that the contempt vote be delayed, as Republicans argued that the Trump Administration has been cooperating with requests for documents - something Democrats say just isn't true.

"It is unfortunate that the House has scheduled a vote to hold two sitting members of the President's Cabinet in contempt of Congress given the clear record of cooperation," Barr and Ross wrote, as they said 'any contempt vote is, at best, premature.'

"This is all about a show," said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), as Republicans rallied around a message that Democrats were pursuing political attacks on the President, while ignoring major issues on Capitol Hill.

"Don't play politics with contempt," said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC). "We're better than that."

Democrats countered that the courts have already shown that the Trump Administration didn't tell the truth about why the citizenship question was being pursued - as Democrats argued that the feds had held back information to Congress about the Census citizenship question.

"Wilbur Ross lied. William Barr lied," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY).