Democratic committees win new authority to pursue Trump admin

Nadler, Trump and gavel

The House took a major leap forward against the Trump administration by passing a resolution on Tuesday giving congressional committees approval to take White House officials to court. The measure passed in the House by a vote of 229 to 191. The 229-191 vote broke down strictly along partisan lines with no defectors from either party.

The resolution specifically named Attorney General William Barr and former White House Counsel Don McGahn, who were subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee but have not yet shown up to testify before the House. 

It also included language giving committees permission to pursue getting redacted portions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, those linked to grand jury testimony, released through court proceedings.

This resolution on Tuesday comes short of a full House vote holding Barr in contempt of Congress. The House Judiciary Committee voted last month to hold Barr in contempt, but it never came to a full House vote. 

Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), the House Judiciary Committee Chair, announced on Monday that he and the Department of Justice had come to a deal and would give the committee “key evidence in the Mueller report related to possible obstruction of justice by President Trump,” according to a release on the agreement.

But Nadler explained that the House was going to still vote on the resolution so they could have the legal power to “obtain documents and testimony outside the scope of today’s agreement with the Department of Justice, including testimony from former White House Counsel Don McGahn.”

Nadler’s Republican colleagues began calling it the “Presidential Harassment Resolution.”

The vote comes as an increasing number of liberal Democrats are endorsing the launch of an impeachment inquiry targeting Trump. This move is opposed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other top Democrats, who have political concerns about taking such a drastic step without a greater show of public support.

“There is nothing as divisive in our country, in my view, than impeachment,” Pelosi said Tuesday during an event in Washington, delivering a familiar refrain.

Credit: NY Post