Nadler Uses Barr to Inflate a Constitutional Crisis

Nadler Uses Barr to Inflate a Constitutional Crisis

Nadler Uses Barr to Inflate a Constitutional Crisis

Congressional Democrats want to create a perceived Constitutional crisis to cover for their failures. The Attorney General, Bill Barr, is the latest road bump on the rush to the cover their ass..etts. 

Victory Girl, Toni, covered the verbal duel between AG Barr and Congressman Nadler in this piece. Yesterday the AP reported, ” House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, escalating the Democrats’ extraordinary legal battle with the Trump administration over access to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia report.”

The Mueller Report hasn’t been the bombshell that the Dems were hoping. At least based on what the public has seen. According to this copy of the released report, the LA Times writes,

More than one-third of the report’s pages contain at least one blacked-out word. Most of the pages have no redactions. Some are almost entirely blacked out.”

You may have already read the released report. What was redacted, and why is covered below:

Officials redacted information based on four categories:

  • Grand jury evidence, which is subject to secrecy rules
  • Classified material from U.S. intelligence agencies or allies
  • Information about ongoing investigations
  • Details that could unfairly infringe on the privacy and damage the reputations of peripheral third parties

The report is released, and has been dissected by staffers and journalists. Why is AG Barr being cited for contempt of Congress? Because the House Judiciary Committee wants the full unreacted report. The group of people who can’t keep anything from being leaked, want the full version. The one that lists ongoing investigations. Classified material. Grand Jury evidence. And finally, details that unfairly infringe on the privacy of peripheral parties.

Wow. I should send AG Barr a note of “thanks” for protecting the privacy of people who will be impacted by the loose lips that occupy the halls of Congress. The staffers and aides who will have access to information that is potentially damaging, but unworthy of prosecution, is countless. In DC where a “secret” is the most discussed topic… It seems unfair to the third party people who will be impacted by the fallout. Classification exists for a reason. In a world where getting a report full of blacked out pages is the norm, this release is refreshing.

But that’s not good enough for the Democrats in charge of the house. Especially when their point isn’t to get a resolution, but a resignation. Heck, it worked with Nixon. Why not try with Trump?

Trump, for all of his bluster, had yet to exert “executive privilege” over his documents. That is until the AG Bill Barr requested he do so for the full version of the Mueller report, including supporting evidence. This was only after AG Barr provided select members of the House with access to a version that was 0.1% redacted. The version blacks out grand jury information, which needs a judge’s approval for release, and it doesn’t include the report’s underlying evidence. Democrats have said they won’t view that version until they get broader access. Because they can’t have exactly what they want, the Democrats won’t take advantage of a less redacted report. See my earlier comment about “resolution” versus “resignation.”

Congress is a group that doesn’t seem to live under the rules they write. So it’s not a surprise that they issued a subpoena requesting information that contradicted what is legal at the DOJ. According the the NYT,

The Justice Department had other objections to the subpoena. Compliance would require the department to violate “the law, court rules and court orders” as well as grand jury secrecy rules, a Justice Department official, Stephen E. Boyd, wrote.”

If he were at the DOJ under a Democrat, the reaction to AG Barr’s refusal would have different responses from his detractors. They may say things like,

  • Adam Schiff: “To say this is a terrible use of Congress’ power and time is an understatement.”
  • Nancy Pelosi: “It’s such a ridiculous thing. This contempt [vote] don’t get me started.”
  • Steny Hoyer: “The action on the floor today is unprecedented in the history of America.”
  • Elijah Cummings: “You’ve been holding the Attorney General to an impossible standard” and that he solely was “protecting documents he was prohibited by law from producing.”

Oh, Adam.

My, how times do change Elijah!

Dems Return to a “Wag the Dog” Playbook.

Democrats want a Constitutional crisis because it provides cover for their ineffectiveness at stopping Trump. They are grasping any opportunity to build the perception that Trump and the Executive Branch are guilty of … something. The narrative they want to build is one where they sweep in to save the day; Dems will take on Trump’s overpowered Executive Branch. Saving the Republic, like a modern day tale of “David and Goliath.”

They demanded Trump’s tax returns. Denied. Still waiting, probably will be waiting after 2020.

“Trump used his fame to grope women!”  Ineffective, and now opened the closet doors of some well connected Democrats and Politicians. Yeah, awkward for #metoo (Looks at Biden, Harris, Sanders, Bullock… and a good number of the 2020 Dem field).

Trump’s COLLUSION with foreign entities for personal gain! Denied! Russia did attempt to influence our election. But it wasn’t at Trump’s behest. (Oh, again, awkward for Joe & Hunter Biden)

Block SCOTUS confirmation. Denied! Denied Again!! (Lord help them if RBG leaves)

Trump supposedly paid-off a porn star with campaign funds! Denied! Sorry. But hey, you got somebody on completely unrelated crimes. And the porn star’s lawyer is in jail for fraud. (Maybe Trump did cheat on his beautiful wife. Who knows? But at least he didn’t abandon her for his brother’s widow, leaving his family destitute because he paid off drug dealers and mistresses. Man, Team Biden is finally beating Trump!)

Every prediction made about how Trump will destroy America, has fallen drastically short. Or flat out failed. Just like the Democrats stand-by playbook. Trump is an unconventional amateur politician. But the Dems continue to use the worn out pocket checklist of political hacks.

Now they are painted into a corner, where the ultra-liberal constituents are demanding impeachment. Democratic leadership knows it can’t deliver, and the previous attempts at dismantling Trump have failed. Instead of standing up with integrity, and working with their Republican counterparts for the country, they are creating a perception of Constitutional crisis.

Congressman Nadler sums up the dire future of the Republic,

Does a Constitutional Crisis Really Matter?

Americans get very concerned when “crisis” is added to “Constitution”, and that’s a good thing. It reminds us that most Americans are very fond of the document, even while they are unfamiliar with it. According to WhiteHouse.gov,

The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of the United States. Empowered with the sovereign authority of the people by the framers and the consent of the legislatures of the states, it is the source of all government powers, and also provides important limitations on the government that protect the fundamental rights of United States citizens.”

The parity for modern day Americans, the Constitution, is the HR binder buried in the corner shelf of a back room. All but ignored until there’s a dispute. Well, today we have a battle brewing between the equal branches of government.

But does that mean our country is in peril? According to the commonly applied guidelines of what constitutes a Constitutional crisis, I don’t think we are there yet.

The political scientists Julia Azari and Seth Masket say there are four types of constitutional crises:

The Constitution doesn’t tell us what to do in a given situation

When the meaning of the Constitution is unclear and comes into question

The Constitution provides guidelines on what to do but following through would be impractical or politically unfeasible

When the government’s institutions and the Constitution’s system of checks and balances fail.”

On the surface, one can apply the “checks and balances fail” to the supposition that we are in a Constitutional crisis. But doing so overlooks the Judicial Branch of government. As the Supreme Court website states,

The Constitution of the United States is a carefully balanced document. It is designed to provide for a national government sufficiently strong and flexible to meet the needs of the republic, yet sufficiently limited and just to protect the guaranteed rights of citizens; it permits a balance between society’s need for order and the individual’s right to freedom. To assure these ends, the Framers of the Constitution created three independent and coequal branches of government. That this Constitution has provided continuous democratic government through the periodic stresses of more than two centuries illustrates the genius of the American system of government. The complex role of the Supreme Court in this system derives from its authority to invalidate legislation or executive actions which, in the Court’s considered judgment, conflict with the Constitution.”

I bolded a very important fact that seems to be lost in the shouting match between Legislative and Executive Branches. The often silent Judicial Branch has an equal position in our Constitution. If the Legislative and Executive Branches cannot play nicely, the Judicial can come in and force them to behave. If either Executive or Legislative ignore the ruling of the Judicial Branch, then we do have a problem. But right now it’s more of a playground tug-of-war for whom is “right.”

An Odd Flashback to Fast & Furious

In 2012 Eric Holder became the first AG to be held in contempt for refusing to provide Congress with the Obama administration’s “Operation Fast & Furious” documents. The operation came to light after Mexican drug cartels used guns provided by the Obama administration to kill two U.S. Federal agents. In an interesting convergence of storylines, the case verdict was finally filed on Tuesday. Seven years after it started. Politico reports,

The fight over the records themselves ended more than a year ago, but a proposed settlement ran aground last fall after U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson signaled that she would refuse to wipe out her rulings in the case. Both the Obama administration and the House objected to aspects of her decisions, but the executive branch had the larger grievance, as Jackson rejected the Justice Department’s longstanding position that courts have no proper role in resolving battles between Congress and federal agencies over access to records.”

Hmmm. I wonder if the Obama administration and the House are happy with the verdict now? By maintaining the position that the courts have no role in resolving battles between Congress and federal agencies access to records, they have essentially closed an avenue that would force the current AG Barr, to provide the records Congress wants. Maybe SCOTUS will have the opportunity to visit this issue in the future. But for now, it is what it is.

 

Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons License: [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]  Attribution: Thomas Good Image Cropped:400×400

 

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"CC" to her friends, she's dreaming of warm weather and open spaces. She's lived all over the USA and overseas. These opportunities are great, but she believes that the USA is the most amazing country, and we are so fortunate to have our Constitution and Bill of Rights. She's always happy to have a debate, so long as the participants understand "Feelings are NOT facts". Bring a fact based viewpoint, a good dose of courtesy (Respect is earned, Courtesy is given freely), a bit of thick skin, and fluency in sarcasm. She's happy to chat about anything from Ron Paul, to Ronald Regan. A bit of warning, she has a dedication to General Jim Mattis, and a low threshold for BS. Professionally, she spent almost a decade working in the Defense Contracting industry.

17 Comments
  • Scott says:

    Nadler is a moron… that is all!

  • czrpb says:

    i know! like that crazy time ( https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-concurrent-resolution/24 ) when the whole of the House voted to have the report in full released to Congress.

    • Scott says:

      Here’s the thing, it doesn’t matter at all what the “whole house” votes on, if it is against the law to release that info (grand jury, etc.), then it’s against the law, and as such, it is the sworn duty of the AG (who apparently takes his oath more seriously than the idiots in congress) to FOLLOW THE LAW, and NOT release the parts that are prohibited by those laws…

      On another topic all together, where was this level of outrage when Eric Holder openly flaunted Congress, engaged in illegal activity (Fast and Furious) and then he and obama ignored the contempt proceedings against him… Ooh, that’s right, he thought the way they did, and obama was our “savior”, so he could do no wrong, and they were good with it…

      So back to my original statement, slightly amended… Nadler is an ATTENTION WHORING, HYPOCRITICAL MORON… that is all…

    • If the “whole of the House” crafted 100% legal legislation 100% of the time, the SCOTUS would be very bored. Point is, they enact resolutions that are self serving and grandstanding. If the whole of the house actually wanted to have the unreacted report released, all they need to do is… CHANGE THE LAW.
      Just like when HASC beats up the Military over something in the UCMJ. Only problem…. Congress has oversight on the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
      Resolutions are toothless tigers. Ask Ilhan Omar how that anti-semitism resolution is working out.

  • GWB says:

    Details that could unfairly infringe on the privacy and damage the reputations of peripheral third parties
    Well, see, that’s precisely the info they did NOT want redacted. They were hoping for anything that might damage the reputations of anyone linked with Trump. (Infringing on their privacy is just gravy.)
    So, obviously, Barr wasn’t playing fair.

    • Wouldn’t that just be the best sort of political leverage…. Not that I’d expect our supremely qualified and ethical Congress to use it with any sort of nefarious intentions. 😉

  • GWB says:

    I wonder if the reason none of the Dems have gone to see the unredacted report is because Barr has set up an accountability system whereby he would know immediately who it was leaked to the press? And he has them sign NDAs that would get them prosecuted?

    • I don’t think so. They would face ethics charges, not prosecution. Congress has exceptional protections from prosecution. Partially why I find their moaning so funny. I think they know that if they read it, they lose the ability to complain about “not” being able to read it. One gets them traction and allows for grossly inaccurate leeway in their language. They can always fall back on the “ignorance” plea… “I thought… If I’d been able to read it …”

  • GWB says:

    Oh, and the Constitutional crisis has been around for about a century now. Congress has been abdicating its authority to the regulatory arm of the Executive for at least half that long. Dems crying about a situation they created multiple generations ago is really laughable.

    • Both parties have been guilty of that particular abdication. It is interesting that in my research I found the most recent agreed upon risk of CC was under (my least favorite present ever!) FDR. Not only did he stack the court, but he refused to comply with the process. The opposition finally folded because there was real concern about the damage to the Republic. Obviously, FDR didn’t think convention applied to him. He was the reason they amendment to limit POTUS to two terms was ratified. I can’t believe that our schools teach about him from a heroic perspective.

      • GWB says:

        The opposition finally folded because there was real concern about the damage to the Republic.
        Gee that sounds familiar. Similar to “not the hill to die on” that we’ve heard from GOPe for a while now. (I feel the same about FDR.)

        • Agree. Ironic phrase about the hill and GOP, in light of the good Republican Roosevelt. Wasn’t there a hill reference in the (I know you’ll tell me if I’m wrong) The Battle of San Juan?

        • If I had to compare the FDR era to any modern presidency, it would be Clinton. Both were snake-oil salesmen, and both of their wives were known to have very “good” female friendships. Friendships that often included long stretches of time away from their husbands…

  • MarkInKansas says:

    This is not a crisis. It’s our Federal Government working the way it is supposed to, with each branch of the Government checking or blocking the other branches. The narrative that this is a Constitutional Crisis is pure spin. There is no agreed upon definition of the term “Constitutional Crisis”.

    • There is some broad definition. I touched on it in the post. There are certainly nuances, but the general consensus is what I cited. I do agree, and the point of my post, that claims are inflated. Ultimately the Judicial will step in and determine the legality of the issue. Had the Holder verdict been appealed, it would have moved up to the SCOTUS. Ironic that the Obama administration’s efforts to protect itself and AG Holder will also provide protection for Trump’s administration and AG Barr. The law of unintended consequences is strong these days.

  • a bee ee? says:

    I love the brawl between two sons of the Upper West Side. Almost as good as the Jets and the Sharks.

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