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The House just voted to hold Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn in civil contempt

Published: June 12, 2019
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The House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to allow a congressional committee to enforce subpoenas by taking uncooperative executive-branch officials to court using a civil-contempt resolution.

A civil-contempt resolution is different from criminal contempt of Congress, which can result in lofty fines and even jail time.

The move comes after the House Judiciary Committee advanced contempt of Congress resolutions for both Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn, marking the most severe congressional action against President Donald Trump's administration since Democrats reclaimed the chamber's majority.


The 229-191 vote fell straight along party lines. The resolution required only a simple majority and needed to be passed in only one chamber of Congress. It came after the House Judiciary Committee hammered out the details of the contempt resolution in a marathon hearing.

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