Dem Rep. Garamendi: Barr contempt debate a 'fundamental fight' about federal 'power distribution'

Rep. John Garamendi said Wednesday on "Outnumbered Overtime" that the debate over whether to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for not turning over the unredacted Mueller report may lead to a "fundamental fight" over the balance of power in Washington.

Garamendi, D-Calif., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, warned that President Trump's assertion of executive privilege protecting those documents from Congress may set a powerful precedent if a court decides in the Republican's favor.

"There is a fundamental fight going on here about power distribution between the three branches of government," he said.

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Garamendi said that whether or not Trump retains the White House in the 2020 election, America may "end up with an extremely powerful president" when it comes to the office itself going forward.

Garamendi said that the Barr situation may very well land before a federal court.

"If Trump is able to continue the path that he's on, there will be a radical change of power between the Congress, the courts and the presidency," he said.

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At the beginning of Wednesday's hearing, Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said that "no person... can be permitted to flout the will of Congress and defy a valid subpoena."

The top Republican on the panel, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, called the vote to hold Barr in contempt a "cynical, mean-spirited [and] counterproductive step."

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"Democrats have no plans, no purpose and no viable agenda beyond attacking this administration," Collins said.

Speaking in the same Fox News interview as Garamendi, House Judiciary Committee Member Tom McClintock, R-Calif., said that the Democrats know that Barr cannot comply with their subpoena and obey the law at the same time.

Fox News' Harris Faulkner contributed to this report.