Democrats Accuse Bill Barr of Covering Up Trump’s Efforts to Sabotage Obamacare

They’re demanding that the attorney general hand over information about a controversial Justice Department decision.

Jeff Malet/ZUMA

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

After the Justice Department announced its support for a widely criticized ruling by a Texas federal judge declaring Obamacare unconstitutional, House Democrats sent a request to Attorney General William Barr for information about how the Trump administration had arrived at its decision. 

But according to a letter signed by five Democratic committee chairmen this week, the attorney general has ignored their demand—yet another act of defiance by the Trump administration amid a larger standoff over Democrats’ attempts to perform congressional oversight. Now, the Democrats have signaled that they’re ready to subpoena Barr in an effort to get to the bottom of the administration’s campaign to dismantle the popular health care law.

“We requested that you produce eight categories of documents relating to the White House’s involvement in this sudden and extremely troubling reversal and that you make four individuals involved in this matter available for testimony,” the letter stated, adding that Barr had failed to comply with an initial deadline set the lawmakers.

The five chairmen—Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y), Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (N.J.), Rep. Richard E. Neal (Mass.), and Rep. Bobby Scott (Va.)—indicated that if Barr refused to comply by the new deadline of May 24,  they would “have no choice but to consider alternative means of obtaining compliance.”

Republicans have good reason to be wary of any renewed focus on Trump’s efforts to sabotage Obamacare. Amid an uproar over the administration’s backing of the Texas ruling, Trump was forced to retreat from his original plan to replace the health care law before next year’s election. Instead, he declared that Congress would hold a vote on a new plan immediately after the 2020 campaign.

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate