President Trump’s Obstruction Never Ended
President Trump’s campaign to undermine the rule of law continues. Today, the White House sought to claim executive privilege over all subpoenaed material, including the entirety Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. This came as President Trump tried to order former White House Counsel Don McGahn not to comply with a congressional subpoena and Trump has said he believes Special Counsel Robert Mueller shouldn’t testify.
This stonewalling goes beyond the White House. Attorney General William Barr has also refused to comply with a congressional subpoena for the full unredacted Mueller report. Barr’s alleged reasoning for not handing over the full report was to protect grand jury material, which was echoed by Republicans in the House Judiciary Committee today. But, just like Trump’s effort to claim executive privilege over information that has already been shared with prosecutors, Barr’s argument is dubious, to say the least.
Sensenbrenner is ludicrously claiming that Democrats are trying to convince Barr to commit a crime by releasing grand jury information.
During Watergate Judge Sirica ruled that 6(e) does not bar disclosure to the Committee and the full DC Circuit affirmed it!
— Adam (@aalali44) May 8, 2019
This afternoon, the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Barr in contempt of Congress in a 24-16 vote along party lines. Before the vote, House Judiciary Republicans spewed lies while accusing Democrats of disgracing the committee. Rep. Jackson Lee pointed out that President Trump is taking a wrecking ball to the Constitution by attempting to claim executive privilege over all subpoenaed material.
Judiciary Cmte. member Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee on Trump asserting executive privilege: “I’m pausing for a moment because I do think this is a moment in history … I can only conclude that the president now seeks to take a wrecking ball to the Constitution.”
Via ABC pic.twitter.com/gJUnV0fGtR
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 8, 2019
In a press conference after the vote, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) further framed the consequential nature of this moment.
“We are now in a constitutional crisis,” House Judiciary Chair @RepJerryNadler tells reporters after his committee voted to hold Attorney General Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to provide the full, unredacted Mueller report and underlying documents. pic.twitter.com/ztbQQElNln
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) May 8, 2019
This is the Executive Branch treating a co-equal branch of government as if they do not have the constitutionally protected duty to conduct oversight.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report outlined how Donald Trump and his associates were receptive to Russia’s election help and President Trump’s subsequent efforts to obstruct the federal investigation into that conduct. In Volume II, the report details 10 key obstructive acts on the part of President Trump that many legal experts have deemed impeachable. Over 800 former federal prosecutors have signed a letter that states if Trump weren’t president, he would’ve been indicted. As we can see with the White House’s stonewalling and Attorney General William Barr’s misrepresentations of the Mueller report, the obstruction never end.
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