There was a time when no member of a political party or presidential administration would have dreamed of ignoring a congressional subpoena out of hand, knowing what the political fallout would look like. Had President Richard Nixon simply not allowed members of his administration to testify, the Watergate hearings would never have happened and a traitor to our country would still be in office. Trump is proof of that.
Rep. Lieu on new bill proposal to fine executive branch officials who ignore congressional subpoenas: “We’ve seen unprecedented obstruction by the Trump administration from the American people.”https://t.co/ISKUyJFwBN
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 4, 2020
During the impeachment hearings and during the hearings on the Mueller investigation, Trump administration officials routinely ignored congressional subpoenas with no consequences, prompting calls for change. Now, with the knowledge that Trump failed to act on intelligence that Russia offered bounties on the heads of U.S. soldiers, House Democrats are proposing a bill so that ignoring subpoenas won’t be routine anymore.
According to The Washington Post:
‘This resolution would create a new, modernized mechanism by which the House could seek to levy stiff fines on officials who defy subpoenas for testimony or documents. It would in effect bring into the 21st century a power that Congress has used only rarely in the past — the power to enforce its own subpoenas.’
A group of top House Dems is introducing a new proposal to empower the House to levy stiff fines against Trump officials who defy subpoenas.
The latest scandals involving Russia's bounties and William Barr make this more crucial.
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) June 29, 2020
While Congress has always had the power to levy consequences against those who defy subpoenas, doing so has not been necessary for some time and the power stopped being used as a result. Thanks to the presidency of Donald Trump, that power is now more necessary than ever.
POLITICO writes that:
‘such extreme measures have fallen out of favor over the years, as Congress has relied instead primarily on litigation to enforce its subpoenas and officials across government have acknowledged the unappetizing prospect of using force to impose its will. It’s even trickier when applied to a coequal branch of government, which may have its own privileges and protections to assert.’
Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA), along with other House Democrats, are proposing a bill to enforce their powers, which may not bode well for Trump and his team. Already, just four months ahead of the 2020 elections, Americans want answers and the president’s campaign team has offered none that satisfy the difficult questions.
In an interview, Lieu said:
‘We’ve seen unprecedented and illegal obstruction by the Trump administration to Congress where the administration has essentially directed witnesses not to show up to committees even after they have been given lawful congressional subpoenas. We need an enforcement mechanism.’
How come we can’t stop him, throw his evil ignorant self serving ass out? How can they just ignore subpoenas? How can Barr do what he does? Is there no remedy besides a possibly rigged election?
— Nancy Argenziano (@NancyA1155) July 3, 2020
Featured image screenshot via YouTube