The House Oversight Committee voted Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas. The vote came just hours after the Justice Department said President Trump had declared executive privilege in a bid to keep the documents from the public record. Democrats are seeking information on how Trump administration officials sought to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. Last month The New York Times reported that a senior Republican strategist who specialized in gerrymandering was secretly behind the efforts, arguing privately that adding the question would benefit Republicans and hurt Democrats. This is New York Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaking at Wednesday’s House Oversight hearing.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “I want to know why this question was magically added, after we have seen that a political operative knew and detailed an intent to intimidate racial and immigrant communities for a partisan purpose, saying this will hurt Democrats and help Republicans. That’s what I want to know. I want to know why Wilbur Ross, why Secretary Ross, continued to meet with people of disturbing political affiliations after his own administration warned him to stop. He came right here, and I asked him, 'Did you continue speaking with him after this?' He told me no. We have an email, and he did. He did.”