Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross forcefully rejected demands from House Democrats to answer a subpoena in a letter he released on Thursday.
“In its zeal to influence the Supreme Court’s decision, the Committee is poised to hold Secretary Ross in contempt,” the statement read.
“Apparently it will do so simply because he stands on time-tested privilege that courts — even the lower courts in the census litigation — have each recognized and protected,” the statement continued. “The Department has given the Committee approximately 14,000 pages of documents and has repeatedly requested that the Committee explain its needs for this specific information, but it has not.
“Moreover, the Secretary testified before the Committee for nearly seven hours and the Department is planning to make three of its senior officials available for transcribed interviews in the next three weeks,” the statement added.
“Holding the Secretary in contempt is an empty stunt,” it concluded, “and it shows that the Committee is simply interested in playing politics.”
House Judiciary Committee Democrats have already voted to hold U.S. Attorney General William Barr in contempt and that vote will go to the full House for consideration.
Democrats indicated on Monday that they were willing to hold another vote of contempt for Ross, and a second one for Barr over their refusal to answer subpoenas over a question about citizenship added to the census.
A new poll released Wednesday showed a strong majority of registered voters believed senior Trump administration officials should answer the subpoenas from Congress.
Here’s the latest on the Democrat’s threats:
As calls for impeachments proceedings rise, House to hold contempt vote for Barr, Ross