House Votes to Hold Attorney General Barr, Commerce Secretary Ross in Contempt

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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (left) and Attorney General William Barr

The vote is largely symbolic because the Justice Department is unlikely to prosecute them.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives has voted to hold two top Trump administration officials in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with subpoenas related to a decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

The House voted 230-198 on Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt. The vote is largely symbolic because the Justice Department is unlikely to prosecute them.

The action marks an escalation of Democratic efforts to use their House majority to aggressively investigate the inner workings of the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump last week abandoned his bid to inject a citizenship question into the census, after the Supreme Court said the administration's justification for the question "seems to have been contrived." Trump directed agencies to try to compile the information using existing databases.