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Mon May 6, 2019, 09:28 AM

"Contempt: It's been used before, including on Obama officials"

It's been used before, including on Obama officials

Congress rarely holds people in contempt. But it has done so in the past to force witnesses to appear or produce documents.

The last time Congress used its inherent contempt powers was in 1934 when the Senate held William MacCracken, a former member of Herbert Hoover's administration, after he refused a subpoena. The Senate had nowhere to hold MacCracken so he was imprisoned at a hotel, according to the Washington Post.

But Congress has voted on contempt charges more recently, even discussing using it against members of the Trump administration last year after former White House adviser Steve Bannon refused to answer questions.

Other examples include in 2012 when the House voted to hold then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for declining to provide documents and in 2014 after IRS official Lois Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during a congressional hearing. In both cases, the Justice Department declined to bring criminal cases.


So the Republicans DID file contempt charges against AG Holder and against Lois Lerner. Then there's THIS:


While a contempt charge normally moves through the criminal justice system and the courts, there's one final method that has gotten attention in recent days, given the president's reluctance to cooperate with congressional investigations.

Lawmakers can elect to pursue a contempt-of-Congress charge in an impeachment proceeding, which is a political process to remove the president from office that moves through Congress instead of the courts.

A contempt-of-Congress charge was one of the three articles of impeachment filed against President Richard Nixon in 1974 after he defied subpoenas for documents and information that Congress said it needed for an impeachment inquiry.


https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/05/03/contempt-congress-william-barr-democrats/3647317002/
Contributing: Associated Press

5 replies, 1639 views

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Reply "Contempt: It's been used before, including on Obama officials" (Original post)
Honeycombe8 May 2019 OP
still_one May 2019 #1
Honeycombe8 May 2019 #2
PoliticAverse May 2019 #3
Honeycombe8 May 2019 #4
PoliticAverse May 2019 #5

Response to Honeycombe8 (Original post)

Mon May 6, 2019, 09:34 AM

1. but it wasn't for refusing to testify

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Response to still_one (Reply #1)

Mon May 6, 2019, 09:38 AM

2. Not sure that makes a difference. But McCracken's contempt was for refusing to appear.

Disregarding a subpoena, whether for appearance at a hearing or producing documents, seems to me to be the same thing. It's disregarding Congress' authority to issue that particular subpoena.

In any case, McCracken's contempt charge was for refusing to appear.

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #3)

Mon May 6, 2019, 12:40 PM

4. I can't read WaPo articles...

except after I clear cookies, which I can't do right now. If you could post any part of it, that would be helpful. Otherwise, I'd have to try to read it later.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #4)

Mon May 6, 2019, 01:50 PM

5. Well here's an ever better discussion at another site on the history and use of Congress' contempt..

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