U.S. House Committee Votes to Retain Wilbur Ross, Commerce Secretary and Legendary Art Collector, in Defiance of Congress – ARTnews.com

Wilbur Ross.

COURTESY OF THE WHITE HOUSE

The U.S. House Oversight Committee has recommended that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who appeared on ART newsfrom the 2014-2017 “Top 200 Collectors” list, being held in contempt of Congress “for refusing to comply with subpoenas” related to a new citizenship question in the 2020 census. CNN reported that the House Oversight Committee had voted 24 to 15 to despise Ross and Attorney General William Barr.

The vote followed President Trump’s decision to exercise executive privilege over records relating to adding a question regarding citizenship status to the next government census. Ross called the House Committee vote an “empty waterfall” in a statement, and House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings said: “I bent over backwards to try to work with the administration, but they have delayed, concealed and degraded the efforts of our committee to conduct this investigation and fulfill our responsibilities under the Constitution.

According to CNN, it’s unclear what will happen next; whether House Democrats go to the ground with criminal and civil contempt depends on the responses from the Justice and Commerce Departments. Criminal citations may be dropped before they are presented.

Cummings told CNN he’s not sure if he’ll try to vote in the full House. “We will decide when the time comes,” he said.

Ross and his wife, Hilary, collected contemporary Chinese and Vietnamese art, contemporary photography, and 20th-century American work. The Rosses are also known to have acquired a significant number of works by surrealist painter René Magritte.

Norma D. Ross