House Democrats Eye Their Next Investigatory Moves
In multiple moves, House Democrats signaled they are about to turn up the heat on the Trump Administration and try to further sway public opinion.
Last week, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller sent shockwaves through the political world by publicly stating what his report already outlined: President Trump was not exonerated, the Office of Legal Counsel memos stating a President cannot be indicted prevented Mueller from considering charging Trump, and that Congress is responsible for holding President Trump accountable.
In perhaps the largest example of the fact only a small percentage of Americans have actually read the 448-page Mueller report, many pundits appeared surprised when Mueller made his statement. The coverage of the public soundbites moved even more lawmakers and presidential candidates to call for impeachment. Although Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is reluctant to impeach, House Democrats appear to be on the offensive.
Today, the House Judiciary Committee announced that they will be holding a series of hearings entitled “Lessons From the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes,” the first of which will be held on June 10th. The hearing will feature testimony from former White House Counsel John Dean, who famously testified against former President Richard Nixon during the Watergate hearings. In his statement last week, Robert Mueller signaled he does not want to testify but House Democrats are still attempting to get him on Capitol Hill.
In a statement announcing the upcoming hearings, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said: “No one is above the law. While the White House continues to cover up and stonewall, and to prevent the American people from knowing the truth, we will continue to move forward with our investigation…”
In another move marking an escalation in House Democrats’ approach to oversight, the full House will vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress on June 11 for not complying with their subpoena for the full unredacted Mueller report. They will also vote to hold former White House Counsel Don McGahn in contempt for failing to comply with the House Judiciary Committee’s subpoena compelling his testimony.
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In related news, House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) announced that they will schedule a vote to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress if they don’t turn over documents related to the 2020 census by this Thursday. Cummings said in a letter:
“The Trump administration has been engaged in one of the most unprecedented cover-ups since Watergate, extending from the White House to multiple federal agencies and departments of the government and across numerous investigations.”
As if there weren’t enough moves from House Democrats on Monday, House Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman announced a broad antitrust investigation into Silicon Valley’s largest tech companies. The probe will investigate whether companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon are engaging in “anti-competitive conduct.”
In regards to the Trump Administration, given the fact they have stonewalled almost every congressional subpoena and have now proven they are willing to defy a court order from federal prosecutors, the pressure Democrats are applying appears more than justified. Over 1,000 former federal prosecutors have signed a letter asserting that President Trump would be indicted for obstruction of justice if it weren’t for the OLC memos.
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