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Similar to question Is there precedent or are there procedures for a US president refusing to concede to an electoral defeat? but in reference to specifically the attorney general. As a side note, please keep political ideologies out of this.

The legislative branch was made to oversee the executive branch. With the attorney general (A.G.) not complying with subpoenas and requests of oversight by the legislative branch there are bound to be consequences.

More specifically, Democratic leadership has stated they have the authority to detain, arrest, and otherwise penalize those who are not compliant to the legislative branch. In fact, house leaders have stated they are looking through old legislative laws that allow them to perform such actions.

As I understand it, if the A.G. were to be arrested, the Sergeant-at-Arms would be ordered to arrest the A.G.

My question is, what if the A.G. simply refuses the orders of the Congress? For example, he locks himself away, or orders his personal security to defend him from the legislative branch? Is there any precedent for such actions? I imagine it would be handled by the judicial branch, but I am unsure due to President Trump's claim that he would take impeachment to the Supreme Court (referencing how there are more conservative judges).

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    Have you researched the instance of Eric Holder being held in contempt of Congress? – Drunk Cynic May 5 at 2:01
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    Please provide a quote that Trump has said he "owns the supreme court." If you cannot, please remove that quote. – Sjoerd May 5 at 4:09
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    I took out the quotations. I referenced a quotation that, upon closer inspection, was fake. He did reference he would take impeachment to the supreme court, but he in no way stated he owned the supreme court. I am sorry for the misinformation. – DanSchneiderNA May 5 at 4:55
  • "The legislative branch was made to oversee the executive branch" Not really – Azor Ahai May 7 at 20:09
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There actually is a precedent. Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress. President Obama and the Justice Department simply declined to prosecute him on the contempt charge, citing executive privilege. He was later cleared by the DOJ's Office of the Inspector General.

Assuming you next wonder about what could happen if the two sides then fight this in court, the answer to that is: there are also precedents that relate to presidents defying the courts.

  • The Congress could have impeached Holder, right? If I understand correctly, they didn't. – JJJ May 5 at 3:16
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    @JJJ That needs two-third majority in the Senate to succeed. The Democrats had enough senators to prevent the conviction. – Sjoerd May 5 at 4:07
  • @Sjoerd people have been impeached before and no doubt will be again. It's not some fairy tale thing that never happens. ;) – JJJ May 5 at 4:10
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    @JJJ What has this to do with this answer? If you think it's possible to write a better answer, please do so. – Sjoerd May 5 at 4:11
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    It's probably worth noting that this was contempt of congress via a specific federal law that makes it a crime. This is not required for Congress to hold and convict someone in contempt. SCOTUS has held this to be an intrinsic power of the legislative branch. The passage and usual resort to the law was simply because the political optics of Congress doing it themselves became unpalatable. – zibadawa timmy May 5 at 5:35
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My question is, what if the A.G. simply refuses the orders of the Congress? For example, he locks himself away, or orders his personal security to defend him from the legislative branch? Is there any precedent for such actions? I imagine it would be handled by the judicial branch, but I am unsure due to President Trump's claims that he "owns the supreme court" (referencing how there are more conservative judges).

Per Denis' answer, that could happen. If congress is willing to escalate, they could impeach the Attorney General. Indeed there are already calls for his impeachment (from an NBC opinion column, but still):

By repeatedly demonstrating his bias in favor of Trump, by discrediting and misrepresenting the Mueller report and by refusing to provide the House Judiciary Committee with an unredacted copy of the 448-page document, it may turn out to be Barr who will soon face an impeachment proceeding in the House.

This all follows the, now famous, Speaker of the House saying that what Barr did amounted to lying, which she pointed out is a crime:

The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, accused William Barr of lying to Congress on Thursday and said neither the attorney general nor the Republican president were above the law.

'That's a crime,' Pelosi said, although she did not specify the comment to which she was referring.

So what does it take to impeach? From Wikipedia:

At the federal level, Article I, Section 2, Clause 5 of the Constitution grants to the House of Representatives "the sole power of impeachment", and Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 grants to the Senate "the sole Power to try all Impeachments".

The House debates the resolution and may at the conclusion consider the resolution as a whole or vote on each article of impeachment individually. A simple majority of those present and voting is required for each article for the resolution as a whole to pass. If the House votes to impeach, managers (typically referred to as "House managers", with a "lead House manager") are selected to present the case to the Senate.

After hearing the charges, the Senate usually deliberates in private. The Constitution requires a two-thirds super majority to convict a person being impeached.

So, is impeachment likely? No. Is it possible? Yes. Why is it not likely but still possible? It requires a supermajority in the senate, meaning at least a significant number from both parties have to support it. Aside from foreign policy decisions and military actions, the Congress of the US is not very bipartisan and as such impeachments (but also other bipartisan efforts) often fail.

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