Placing himself above the law, Donald Trump says his administration will not cooperate with Congress

In a letter to House leadership, White House counsel Pat Cipollone today made it clear that the Trump administration has no intention of complying with Congressional requests related to the recently launched impeachment probe of Donald Trump. Cipollone, in his letter, referred to the probe as “illegitimate” and said that the actions taken by House Democrats violated “the Constitution, the rule of law, and every past precedent.” None of this, of course, is true. We know for a fact that the President of the United States, by his own admission, requested that a foreign head-of-state initiate an investigation into a U.S. citizen, and it’s the constitutional duty of the Congress to investigate and provide oversight.

This refusal to participate in Congressional hearings is, of course, itself grounds for impeachment, as Republican Senator Lindsey Graham once explained so eloquently to the American people.

[It’s not the job of the President to tell Congress what it needs, Graham said in 1998, but to “comply (and) provide the things (Congress needs) to provide oversight.”]

Shortly after Cipollone’s letter was made public, the White House press secretary (who, by the way, hasn’t given a press briefing since assuming the role in June) issued the following statement, which begins with the laughably false statement, “The President has done nothing wrong, and the Democrats know it.”

The whole thing is both ridiculous and illegal. They’re just adding impeachable offenses on top of impeachable offenses at this point. But, I guess, as long as there’s not a single Republican willing to come out and say that he or she intends to join the Democrats in actively pursuing a serious investigation, Trump is just going to keep going, hiding behind the flimsy excuse that this is nothing more than a “partisan” attempt to undo the will of the American voters. I know it’s a lot to ask, but one would hope that, eventually, a Republican like Will Hurd, a former CIA officer, might summon the courage to move beyond handwringing and actually do something to help protect our democracy at this time of constitutional crisis… And we are officially in constitutional crisis.

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10 Comments

  1. John Brown
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    Increasing the gop is looking like that thug in the bank open carrying. Daring us to hold them to their withdrawal limit….

  2. John Brown
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    “increasingly”. And I sure hope we see a contempt arrest before the week is out. They are bluffing. The ones who flaunt guns at the bank, or militias and threats of civil war in politics, are doing so from a position of weakness. We have to stick to rule of law and call their bluff. If they activate terrorist militia we’ll fight back from the moral high ground.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    “If the President can get away with saying ‘I can’t be investigated. I can’t be indicted. I can’t be impeached,’ then he has made himself a king. He is not the Democratic ruler of a Democracy.” – Former Asst. Watergate Special Counsel Jill Wine-Banks

  4. Jean Henry
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    All the Dems need to do is put it to a vote. They should have done it last week. They are cowards. Without the vote to impeach, there is no obstruction charge because there is no accusation.

  5. Jean Henry
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Oops, I was wrong. I guess you can obstruct an investigation without any charge. Ive even acknowledged that here before. I just wish the house would vote on impeachment.

    “Cipollone lays out a few arguments based in law. He notes that the House has not held a vote to officially open an impeachment inquiry, which is true but largely beside the point; there’s no legal requirement to hold a vote at this stage. ”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/trump-letter-promises-complete-obstruction/599689/

  6. Lynne
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    I want the house to impeach him too but I also think it is completely appropriate to conduct an investigation first. Get the dirt on the record!

    The thing is, the Senate is not likely to convict him at this point. However, Senators can sometimes be swayed by facts, even GOP ones. So bringing up as much of the truth as possible before voting for an impeachment increases the likelihood that he will be removed from office. It is still unlikely though. But facts can also matter to voters. Get things out in the open as much as possible. Have the house conduct transparent (as much as possible but still protecting witnesses) hearings and otherwise conduct an honest investigation. I am sure there will plenty of dirt to damange Trump’s chances in the next election.

  7. EOS
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    On the one hand, there are a number of Democrats in the House who do not want to have their vote on the record as it would have a negative impact on their re-election, and with little to no chance of the Senate impeaching Trump, it is just window dressing.

    On the other hand, if a vote were taken, this would enable both the majority and minority parties to issue subpoenas to testify. I can imagine the Republicans would use their subpoenas to investigate Biden and his son, and perhaps wider issues depending on the verbiage of the vote for an investigation to open. And I don’t see Pelosi calling for a narrow investigation, but rather a wide open witch hunt, which would disproportionately benefit the Republicans.

  8. Dave Morris
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Apologies if a link to this was posted already. Thought it was worth sharing.

    Elissa Slotkin talking to her constituents in Michigan. Really well played. Makes me hopeful.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/09/podcasts/the-daily/house-democrats-elissa-slotkin.html

  9. Posted October 11, 2019 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    Trump says Fox News ‘doesn’t deliver for US anymore’ after poll shows rising impeachment support

    https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/465155-trump-says-fox-news-doesnt-deliver-for-us-anymore-after-poll-shows

    (From The Hill)

  10. Posted October 16, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Do Americans Support Impeaching Trump?

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/do-americans-support-impeaching-president-trump

    (From fivethirtyeight.com)

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