As House Democrats prepare to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt for failing to provide the unredacted report from special counsel Robert Mueller to Congress, libertarian judge Andrew Napolitano, often a Trump-skeptic, came to Barr's aid, calling the idea that Democrats could arrest Barr "absurd."
"When two branches of government disagree, who resolves it? The other branch. There is a very easy way out of this," said Napolitano on "Fox & Friends" Tuesday morning. "The House Judiciary committee serves a subpoena on the attorney general. He believes the laws which he has sworn to uphold prevent him from complying with it completely as they want him. You take this subpoena, you make a motion to quash it – that is to suppress it – and a judge calls it and then you follow what the judge's ruling is."
"The judiciary is the branch that decides what the law means, what the constitution means and how it should be interpreted rather than these threats about locking up the attorney general, that's absurd," Napolitano added.
Congress can and has held Cabinet members or senior executive officials in contempt for not producing documents — this has happened 10 times since 1975. In theory, the "inherent contempt" power allows Congress to direct the sergeant-at-arms arrest people to enforce the ruling, but this drastic measure hasn't been taken since the 1930s — and while some Democrats have thrown around the idea, it is unclear whether it is seriously being considered.