The House Oversight Committee on Tuesday sued Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrJudge rules former WH counsel McGahn must testify under subpoena DOJ workers call out Barr over Supreme Court arguments against LGBT protections Trump directed Treasury, DOJ to address Erdoğan ‘concerns’ about Turkish bank MORE and Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossFCC votes to bar use of its funds to purchase Huawei, ZTE equipment Hillicon Valley: Senators ask Trump to halt Huawei licenses | Warren criticizes Zuckerberg over secret dinner with Trump | Senior DHS cyber official to leave | Dems offer bill on Libra oversight Senators urge Trump to suspend Huawei license approvals MORE over their refusal to comply with congressional subpoenas in the panel’s investigation of the aborted effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
“Since the Supreme Court ruled against them—and the House of Representatives held them in contempt for blocking the Committee’s investigation—Attorney General Barr and Commerce Secretary Ross have doubled down on their open defiance of the rule of law and refused to produce even a single additional document in response to our Committee’s bipartisan subpoenas,” House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyThe Hill’s Morning Report – Sondland stuns; Dems pull punches in fifth debate Maloney wins House Oversight gavel The Hill’s Morning Report – Wild Wednesday: Sondland testimony, Dem debate take center stage MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.
“President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump puts Kushner in charge of overseeing border wall construction: report Trump 2020 national spokesperson gives birth to daughter New McCarthy ad praising Trump includes Russian stock footage MORE and his aides are not above the law,” Maloney added. “They cannot be allowed to disregard and degrade the authority of Congress to fulfill our core Constitutional legislative and oversight responsibilities.”
It’s been four months since the House voted to hold Barr and Ross in criminal contempt for refusing to hand over documents in response to the subpoenas, though the Justice Department has not acted on their request for prosecution.
President Trump has asserted that the documents are protected from subpoena by executive privilege.
In their complaint filed in federal district court in Washington, the Oversight Committee said that it had identified evidence of political meddling in the design of the census, and that the responsive documents would be key to the investigation and any effort to protect the 2020 census.
“Defendants are legally obligated to honor the Subpoenas and have identified no valid privilege that would justify their refusal to comply,” the lawsuit reads. “Their unlawful withholding of information is injuring the Committee in carrying out two critical constitutional functions: conducting effective oversight of the Executive Branch and its officials, who have provided false testimony to Congress and misled Congress and the American public; and determining whether legislation is necessary, potentially on an emergency basis, to ensure the integrity of the 2020 Census.”
— Updated at 11:40 a.m.