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Why the Democrats' surveillance machinery is so slow against Trump







  Jerry Nadler [title="JerryNadler"

The House Democrats say they trust Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler to bring a prudential case to court. | Alex Wong / Getty Images

Congress

Legislators say they're putting up a report on White House resistance to Müller's testimony – but left-wing fear is on the increase.

House democrats have stepped in because of the White House's refusal and have shouted to allow important Trump officials to before Congress to appear. But they have not done what they can do to force the issue: to go to court.

Democrats have given procedural slaps on the wrist – from subpoenas to contemptuous censuses – and all have been called off by a White House claiming "absolute immunity" from Congressional statements.

Continuation of the story

The apparent lack of results has fueled criticism among progressive lawmakers and activists. But there are real reasons for the slow approach: an overloaded team of House of Representatives lawyers and Democrats' fear of a judgment that could have long-term consequences.

The Democrats of the House of Representatives state that they are also focusing on the careful construction of a court record of Trump's opposition to their investigation to persuade a court to decide in their favor and block the whites Break house. An onslaught could backfire – even if the fear on the left begins to swell.

"I'm not too wild on incrementalism, but we're right here," said Deputy Steve Cohen (D.) -Tenn.), A high-ranking member of the Judiciary Committee.

This approach will continue this week if Parliament votes to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for opposing summonses for information on efforts to add a citizenship issue to the 2020 census.

The vote marks the first time that Congress held a Cabinet member in criminal contempt for Congress since Attorney General Eric Holder, led by the GOP, was scorned by the 2012 Fast and Furious. Weapons probe.

Barr was already held in civil contempt for Congress for failing to respond to a subpoena in order to obstruct his investigation into former Special Representative Robert Mueller's report on interference in the Russian elections and President Donald Trump's alleged attempt , [19659009] Many of the Democrats who conducted the investigation said they were in no hurry to face battles before federal judges and were satisfied with the pace. They trust that Justice Jerry Nadler (DN.Y.) will select the battles of the panel and strike when the time is right.

"At the moment we are in a kind of settlement phase," said MP Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), A high-ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, said in an interview. "When a lawsuit is filed, the game begins."

Spokesperson Nancy Pelosi has argued in favor of this strategy, arguing that methodological and targeted congressional investigations are the best way to bring Trump to justice. She pointed to the ongoing investigation to stop the growing impeachment talks between members of her caucus.

The Democrats acknowledge that the only way to put down the blockade of Muller's obituaries by the government – from former White House lawyer Don McGahn to former longtime adjutant Hope Hicks – is to win in federal court. They are aware that the Trump administration and former high-ranking officials who spent hours on secrets to Müller have so far had no concrete consequences for blocking the Committee's demands.

But they also have to deal with a president who has vowed to crack down on congressional oversight by ignoring summonses and absorbing the contempt for congressional citation to an extraordinary degree.

We have never seen a government that showed utter contempt for the rule of law in every term of office from top to bottom, "added Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Who supports the initiation of impeachment proceedings. "In a way, they have launched such a fight for Congress that we have no precedent to deal with this lawlessness."

The White House's strategy has led to lawsuits in other executive disputes – from accessing Trump's tax returns from the IRS to enforcing two subpoenas for Trump's financial records from his accounting firm. These fights have stretched the small law firm of the House of Representatives thin.

"Unfortunately, this is the process we have to comply with," complained Johnson. "It is the rule of law that ironically tramples on the executive. But we can not throw ourselves in the dirt and trample our constitution and our laws with the administration. "

Some Democrats also fear that, despite a strong hand, they could land in front of unfriendly judges, which could severely curtail congressional powers. The boundary between the White House's claims to secrecy and Congressional demands for information is poorly defined and seldom reviewed.

"This is a very serious matter, so if we go to court we absolutely must win," he said MP Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Member of the Judiciary Committee. "That's why we make sure we have bulletproof cases when we go to court."

Lieu agreed that the sanctions imposed on the Trump administration are small. "You will not take it seriously until there is a court ruling," he said.

Meanwhile, Lieu and other Democrats refer to the judicial victories of the House in an independent dispute over Trump's private financial records as proof that they are running the right way.

Last month, Nadler told POLITICO that the house would soon go to court to hear testimony from McGahn, one of the key witnesses of Mueller, who described Trump's efforts to thwart the Special Representative's investigation. Not yet filed, but members of the Democratic Committee have announced they will go to court by the end of the month – probably after Müller On July 24, before the justice and intelligence services, McGahn testified and said it might even benefit from the slower approach. He argues that the subsequent interrogation of witnesses such as Hicks and McGahn's deputy Annie Donaldson, who has agreed to the White House's instructions that they will not answer questions about their term in the West Wing, may fill the committee's minutes and back up his case if it does after all, McGahn's testimony goes to court.

"It is very useful to show the judge what this means in practical reality … what an incredible statement of leadership and congress neutrality," said Nadler.

In the meantime, Nadler seems to have the backing of his committee members.

"The chairman has a plan. I refer to him, "said Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Member of the Judiciary Committee. "I think it's moving."


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