US House panel holds Attorney General William Barr in contempt

(BBC) – A US House of Representatives panel has voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress amid a showdown over the Mueller report.

Democrats on the judiciary committee took the rare step after Mr Barr refused to submit an unredacted version of the special counsel’s findings.

President Donald Trump has hit back by asserting executive privilege over the report, shielding it from public view.

The White House and Congress accused each other of abusing power.

Why was there a contempt vote?

The judiciary committee voted 24-16 along party lines on Wednesday to refer a contempt citation against the attorney general for a full House vote.

Democratic lawmakers put forward the measure after Mr Barr did not comply with a legal order to release the Mueller report minus the redactions.

The 448-page report was released last month with parts blacked out, including information that is classified or linked to pending investigations.

The special counsel did not conclude there was a criminal conspiracy between Moscow and the Trump campaign to influence the 2016 US presidential election.