Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen tore into House Democrats on Friday for their vote days earlier to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt -- calling it “a new low” and urging the lawmakers to apologize.
“We are talking about what is, unfortunately, the crassest form of political theater, and from where I stand, I'm deeply disappointed that the House leadership would proceed in that way, with something that is so obviously beneath the dignity of the offices that they hold,” he told reporters, during an event on criminal justice reform.
“It's really a new low for the current House of Representatives.”
The House voted to hold both Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt on Wednesday, saying they were stonewalling congressional probes into the Trump administration’s efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
The vote to hold Barr and Ross in criminal contempt was 230-198, with four Democrats and all Republicans voting no. Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, now an independent after leaving the Republican Party, voted yes.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., accused Justice and Commerce of refusing to produce key, unredacted documents.
"The Administration originally claimed that it would not produce documents while the Supreme Court was considering this case -- a baseless argument that was rejected by the Committee."
The DOJ said it had worked for months to supply the documents for Congress and that many were held privileged by a federal court. It is highly unlikely that Barr and Ross will face charges, as those would have to be pursued by the Trump administration’s Justice Department, which Barr heads.
Rosen reminded lawmakers on Friday that “it’s not too late to reverse course.”
“The House of Representatives could reconsider, revoke its action and apologize to the attorney general. And that's what they should do,” he said.
Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.