We learned this afternoon that House Democrats held AG Bill Barr in contempt of Congress for…(checks notes)…not giving them materials it’d be illegal for him to give them. Makes sense.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, who’s leading this stunt, thought he could strong-arm the DOJ by laying down an arbitrary deadline. In response, Bill Barr called his bluff and told Jerry to go eat some more KFC with Steve Cohen, because he’s not giving him anything. Executive privilege was claimed over all subpoenaed materials and we’ve likely got a long court battle ahead.
.@RepJerryNadler on executive privilege: "This decision represents a clear escalation in the Trump administration's blanket defiance of Congress' constitutionally mandated duties." pic.twitter.com/GuqC1RygPo
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 8, 2019
I missed the part in the Constitution where Congress is entitled to whatever they want just because they say so. Perhaps Nadler could point it out. It’s not the DOJ’s job to provide Congress with raw investigative materials. They can go do their own leg work if that’s their goal.
What Nadler is doing is a pure abuse of power (or attempt at it). After years of telling us that Mueller was sacrosanct and would be the last word, Democrats want a do-over because the report didn’t say what they wanted it to say. The new Democrat logic is essentially that Mueller is protecting Trump and that hidden in the underlying material awaits a bombshell that will bring down Trump. Same song, different day. The goalposts never stop moving.
This is, of course, absurd given how clearly Mueller’s team wanted to nail Trump. If you’ve read the second part of the report, it’s obvious they were scrambling for anything that would allow them to paint the President in a bad light. That fact has only become more obvious as they’ve started to leak their opposition to Bill Barr in the aftermath. The idea that Mueller’s team did anything to protect Trump is ludicrous and everyone knows it.
We should also note that Nadler is a total hypocrite on holding people in contempt of Congress.
Just joined the #walkout of the House chamber to protest the shameful, politically-motivated GOP vote holding AG Holder in contempt
— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) June 28, 2012
In the case of Eric Holder, he was given 450 days to comply with lawful subpoenas of materials related to the Fast and Furious scandal. So far, Barr has been given 43 days and he’s only refusing to turn over what he can’t legally turn over. Congress has a copy of the report with every single word unredacted except grand jury material, which is protected under the law.
How many Democrats have gone to read that nearly fully unredacted version? Zero.
Jerry Nadler was fine with stonewalling and the use of executive privilege when it was a Democrat doing it. Now that it relates to Donald Trump, he’s suddenly done a complete 180. Funny how that always seems to happen. This is the same guy who argued during the Clinton years that the Starr report should not be released publicly. He, of course, feels totally different about the Mueller report. Consistency isn’t his strong suit.
The Trump administration did the right thing here. We are well past the point of trying to operate in good faith with House Democrats. Their game is clearly to drag this out through the 2020 election and there was no reason to help them out.
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