House To Give Committee Chairs Power To Take Subpoena Fights To Court

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) attends a news conference on April 9, 2019. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
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June 6, 2019 11:52 a.m.

The House next week will vote to give committee chairs the power to go straight to court to enforce subpoenas, eliminating the need for the full House to vote on contempt, according to a CNN report Thursday morning.

The language granting that power to committee chairs, as well as a measure allowing committees to hold officials in civil contempt without the support of the full House, will be included in a resolution to hold Attorney General Bill Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told reporters, per CNN.

House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) pushed for the new authority over the past few weeks, according to CNN.

If approved by the House, the new authority could increase the number of lawsuits over the administration’s refusal to comply with House committee subpoenas and could speed up potential enforcement of House demands for documents and testimony.

The Trump administration has consistently blocked House committee chairs from obtaining documents from and speaking to current and former White House officials from several House committees.

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