President Donald Trump attempted to reinstate a question on citizenship in the 2020 census, and naturally, Democrats fought the effort tooth and nail. Thanks to their interminable lawfare and delay tactics, the citizenship question won’t be included on the next Census — but that isn’t enough.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she now intends to charge both Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross with criminal contempt of Congress.
At issue is Democrat claims that both Barr and Ross refused to turn over subpoenaed documents related to the internal decision-making discussions about the census question.
Pelosi announced on Thursday that the full House of Representatives would hold a vote at some point next week to hold Barr and Ross in criminal contempt.
“Next week, the full House will vote on a resolution of criminal contempt for Attorney General Barr and Secretary Ross so we can enforce our subpoenas and get the facts,” Pelosi told reporters.
Vote on Tuesday
Later that day, Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a tweet, “The House will vote Tuesday to hold the Admin in contempt of Congress after defying subpoenas for documents explaining the effort to add a citizenship question to the
#Census. We will hold this Admin accountable for continued obstruction & oppose efforts to undermine the census.”
Hoyer added in a follow-up tweet, “The House will not shirk from its oversight of this Administration and its malign effort to silence the voices of millions in our democracy and deny resources to communities in need of them.”
The House will not shirk from its oversight of this Administration and its malign effort to silence the voices of millions in our democracy and deny resources to communities in need of them. https://t.co/3ryeatIpOh
— Steny Hoyer (@LeaderHoyer) July 11, 2019
That second tweet from Hoyer gets to the heart of the Democrats’ contrived rationale for their opposition to the citizenship question — the supposed fear-inducing impact it would have on non-citizens and purportedly racist motivations behind the question.
Of course, Barr and Ross aren’t worried about the vote. There is virtually no way that the Department of Justice would pursue criminal prosecution against the attorney general or commerce secretary on this particular non-issue.
In reality, this move by House Democrats is little more than a powerless lashing out against the Trump administration. If it wasn’t over this issue, it would have been something else.
President Trump announced on Thursday that he will sidestep the whole census/citizenship issue by way of an executive order to all federal departments and agencies to turn over relevant information on the number of citizens and non-citizens in the country, so this is all a moot point now.
But the Democrats don’t care and only want to smear the Trump administration, so expect them to continue on with their contempt charade.