In the wake of the conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, the Trump team has found close to none of the respite from scrutiny of their corruption that they’ve been angling for. This Monday speaking to reporters outside the White House, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders melted down over continued House Democratic investigations, which she denounced as “childish.” That’s rich coming from the woman whose boss has a made a name for himself — even while serving as president of the United States — for his nickname-riddled, schoolyard-style bullying of those who dare disagree with him. Newly declared Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has become “Sleepy Joe,” for instance.
Still, seemingly lacking self-awareness, Sanders told reporters this Monday of House Democrats:
‘[They’re] asking for things they know they can’t have [and] have no legal authority to have. Frankly, they’re just acting really childish. It’s almost embarrassing to the House Democrats, the way that they’re behaving.’
There are a number of ongoing House Democratic pushes that Sanders’s comments are relevant to. They’re pushing for material like the full, unredacted final report from Mueller’s investigation and copies of President Donald Trump’s personal and business tax returns for the last six years, arguing that they’re necessary to probe the president’s compliance with the law — or lack thereof. He stands credibly accused of bank, insurance, and tax fraud, with the material to back those allegations up in the public sphere already. He repeatedly inflated his assets in dealings with potential partners.
In that case, House Democrats actually have clear-cut legal authority for the material, with a longstanding anti-corruption provision of the tax code laying out that the Treasury Department shall furnish copies of tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee chairperson when requested. At present, Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) leads that panel and is responsible for the push. The Trump team has said they need at least into early May to respond.
On another front, House Democrats continue to push for the full Mueller report. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) issued a subpoena for the document, and was seeking a closed hearing covering the full material this coming week featuring Attorney General William Barr as a witness. Barr has rebuffed Nadler’s plans for the hearing, which also included a chance for thirty minutes of questioning from legal counsel serving each side of the aisle. Although there’s recent precedent for such a move via the agreed-to Republican demands for third party-counsel to question Christine Blasey Ford after she brought forth a story of sexual assault at Trump Supreme Court appointee Brett Kavanaugh’s hands, Sanders wants us to believe it’s Democrats who are the childish ones.
Nadler has insisted he’s willing to subpoena Barr if he refuses to appear. The Trump appointee’s handling of the Mueller probe has been put under a microscope and glaring, Trump-favoring inconsistencies have been discovered between the attorney general’s public take and the findings themselves. He’ll also be answering to the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, although that panel is majority-Republican at present.
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