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House Judiciary Committee votes to hold Barr in contempt of Congress

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The US House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, fuelling a simmering dispute between the Democrats and Republicans over Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on alleged Russian collusion in 2016 presidential election.

The committee voted along party lines, 24 to 16, and the Democrats moved a formal resolution that the House should hold Barr in contempt for failing to adhere with a subpoena on releasing Mueller's full and unredacted report on his Russia probe, The Hill reported.

While House leaders backed the contempt resolution, it is not clear when it will advance to the floor of the House. After the vote, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said that the development would happen "rapidly" and "soon."

Prior to the contempt vote, President Donald Trump had asserted executive privilege over Mueller's report and its underlying evidence.

On Monday, while scheduling the vote, Nadler had said that he proposed to hold Barr in contempt after he sent a letter to the Justice Department, which refused to provide Mueller's full report.

The committee had given a deadline of 9 am (local time) till May 7 for Barr to comply, failing which contempt proceedings would be initiated against the Attorney General.

While Mueller found no Russian collusion in Trump's campaign for the 2016 presidential elections during his 22-month long investigation, he fell short of completely exonerating the incumbent US President when it came to obstruction of justice, Barr had said while releasing the redacted report last month.

Barr had clarified before the releasing of the initiation report, which Mueller prepared after concluding his probe, that he will redact certain information from the document.

However, the Democrats have demanded the full version, claiming Barr has not presented the correct version of the investigation.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 09 2019. 06:13 IST