Image via Twitter, https://twitter.com/shack_jd/status/1127181490771513344
Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) questioned three Democratic expert witnesses at a House Judiciary Committee hearing where they reluctantly admitted that a full release of the Mueller Report would be a violation of the law. In other words, the subpoena issued by Democrats on Jerrold Nadler’s House Judiciary Committee offers Attorney General William Barr the choice between committing an illegal act or being held in contempt of Congress.
In the clip below, Armstrong asks Yeshiva University law professor Kate Shaw, “If Attorney General William Barr would have provided a completely non-redacted report, would he have violated the law?”
Shaw responded, “Yeah, I think the law protects grand jury material. I would agree with that. Yeah.”
Armstrong asked R Street Institute Senior Fellow Paul Rosenzweig if he agreed with that.
Rosenzweig replied, “I agree, though I would say that nothing in the statute prevents [the attorney general] from asking a court for permission to provide that rule 6(e) material.”
Armstrong said, “I agree with that, but nothing in the statute or authority compells him to do that and a subpoena doesn’t compell him to go to court.”
Rosenzweig agreed. “A subpoena surely does not compell him to go to court.”
Finally, Armstrong addressed Georgia State University law professor Neil Kinkopf. “Professor Kinkopf, do you agree with that?”
Kinkopf answered with a terse, “Sure.”
Following the committee vote to hold Barr in contempt, a DOJ spokesperson pointed out that Barr had made “extraordinary efforts to provide Congress with information related to Mueller’s report, however the attorney general was not going to break the law. The Attorney General could not comply with the House Judiciary Committee’s subpoena without violating the law, court rules, and court orders, and without threatening the independence of the Department’s prosecutorial functions.”
Considering the fact that Barr was under no legal obligation to release any portion of the report, Nadler and company are on very shaky ground here and they know it. But this form of intimidation has worked for them before.
There are two reasons why this strategy will no longer work for them.
First, there’s a new sheriff in town. Bill Barr doesn’t suffer fools.
Second, Mueller’s conclusion that Trump did not collude with the Russians to win the presidency and his inability to find sufficient evidence that he obstructed justice, has given Trump new confidence. He’s put up with document requests for over two years and those days are over.
Nadler and all the other Democrats who voted to hold Barr in contempt should all be questioned under oath just as the three expert witnesses were questioned by Armstrong. They will be forced to tell the truth. Yes, if the Attorney General had complied with our subpoena, he would have violated the law.
End of discussion.
MUST WATCH: The Democratic witnesses at the House Judiciary Committee hearing testified that the subpoena committee Democrats issued to AG Barr requires him to violate the law in order to comply. #MuellerReport pic.twitter.com/A9b1WKIe6Z
— Congressman Kelly Armstrong (@RepArmstrongND) May 15, 2019