As the Trump administration continues to obstruct Congressional investigations — or try to, at least — the House Oversight Committee has now slapped them with another lawsuit. This week, the House Oversight Committee sued Attorney General Bill Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross over their refusal to comply with a previous subpoena for documents relating to the Trump team’s eventually failed but still originally desperate push to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census. The additional question was widely seen as a plot to drive down immigrant communities’ representation, since they could be intimidated out of answering.
Now, the Oversight Committee’s Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) insists:
‘I am filing this enforcement action today because the Trump Administration’s brazen obstruction of Congress must not stand. President Trump and his aides are not above the law.’
POLITICO explains that the committee is after “copies of memos and correspondence related to allegations that the Trump administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the census was based on political considerations, rather than its publicly stated effort to enforce the Voting Rights Act.”
The lawsuit comes months after the Democratic majority in the House voted to hold Barr and Ross in contempt of Congress for their already established refusals to comply with Congressional demands. That paved the way for the present lawsuit.
Just this week, Democrats achieved a major federal court ruling in their favor in a similar but separate case. Federal Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson demanded that former White House counsel Don McGahn provide long subpoenaed testimony to House Democrats, although McGahn’s team has already appealed the ruling and asked Jackson to pause his ruling while the appeal is considered.
Still, POLITICO notes:
‘The suit is an indication that Democrats believe their hand has been strengthened by the victory in the McGahn case as they seek documents related to other subpoenas that the Trump administration has defied.’
President Donald Trump personally responded to that case and tried to dismiss those who tried to ascribe the ruling some significance. Despite Trump’s frenzied attempts to paint the ruling as a nothingburger because he’s supposedly oh-so-innocent, numerous current and former officials from his administration have already provided damaging testimony to Congressional Democrats as part of the impeachment inquiry.
Still, he tweeted:
‘The D.C. Wolves and Fake News Media are reading far too much into people being forced by Courts to testify before Congress. I am fighting for future Presidents and the Office of the President. Other than that, I would actually like people to testify.’
There’s not any particular evidence suggesting that any of that is actually true. If he’s so fine with people testifying, then why is he furiously fighting it at nearly every available opportunity? He claims he’s just trying to protect executive privilege or whatever, but he’s long contorted that concept outside its original intentions.
No matter what he says, the evidence is piled up against him and his administration. Following the recently concluded public hearings, House Democrats will quickly be moving through the rest of the impeachment process and possibly produce formal articles of impeachment quite soon.