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,
The House Judiciary Committee just voted to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt.
Trump and those who blindly serve him — like Barr — must be made to comply with our requests for information.
In absence of vigorous oversight, corruption will continue to flourish.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 8, 2019
My, how times do change Elijah!
— Elijah E. Cummings (@RepCummings) March 20, 2019
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.
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.”
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.
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