By Joseph Curl
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler has been leading the effort to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress, claiming the move is needed to stem a “constitutional crisis.”
But he felt completely differently back when Republicans held then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for rejecting demands to turn over documents about the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal.
“Just joined the #walkout of the House chamber to protest the shameful, politically-motivated GOP vote holding AG [Eric] Holder in contempt,” Nadler wrote on Twitter in 2012.
The Judiciary Committee voted 24-16 on Wednesday to recommend Barr in contempt of Congress, saying he has not handed over the full, unredacted report from special counsel Robert Mueller. President Trump has asserted executive privilege to keep some sensitive parts of the report secret. Said Nadler: “We are now in a constitutional crisis.”
After the vote, Donald Trump Jr. wrote on Twitter: “Ahhh the irony. Political hacks gonna hack.”
Others quickly piled on. “Nadler now says the White House ‘stonewalling’ Congress represents an attack on ‘the essence of our democracy’ – as though stonewalling were some new phenomena,” former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said in an op-ed for Fox News. “Where was Nadler’s righteous indignation when the stonewalling came from a Democratic White House?”
“America should not mistake this charade by the Democrats for a principled stand,” he wrote. “Not when the principles shift with the political fortunes of the Democratic Party.”
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida also weighed in.
“The fight with Barr is a political stunt. Real oversight was when House sought documents about #FastandFuriousan Eric Holder program that allowed guns to reach drug cartels in Mexico. Holder & Obama refused to give Congress information about it,” Rubio wrote.
“Nadler was also accused of hypocrisy last month by GOP critics for his subpoena of the unredacted Mueller report, with critics pointing to video from the Clinton days showing him urging caution regarding the release of details from then-Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr’s report,” Fox News reported.
“But now a different political landscape compels the chairman to adopt new standards of fairness, ignore existing law and demand the material he once considered ‘unfair to release,’” Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins, R-Ga., said.
Back when the House held Holder in contempt, then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Republicans the move was purely political. “What is happening here is shameful,” she said then.