Comrade Stupid is getting quite good at his new hobby of stonewalling Congress! He’s doing it all the time now.
Prznint Stupid ordered former White House Counsel Donald McGahn not to appear at Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s House Judiciary Committee hearing today despite receiving a subpoena from the panel’s Democratic chairman because: Executive Privilege. The White House is saying that Congress can never compel testimony from senior administration officials.
“The Department of Justice has provided a legal opinion stating that, based on long-standing, bipartisan, and constitutional precedent, the former counsel to the president cannot be forced to give such testimony, and Mr. McGahn has been directed to act accordingly,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “This action has been taken in order to ensure that future presidents can effectively execute the responsibilities of the Office of the Presidency.”
That’s a novel position! I believe in the law business that is called “nuts,” from English Common Law, “ye olde bullshite.” Executive Privilege has no basis in statute:
“This is nuts. The White House is relying on a brand new memo from the Office of Legal Counsel claiming that, as an absolute matter of separation of powers and executive branch autonomy, Congress cannot force the President’s senior advisers to testify.
“Notably, the memo cites not a single court decision to support this novel proposition. The memo does begrudgingly note in passing that the only court opinion on the matter, a 2008 decision relating to testimony from former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, actually reaches the opposite conclusion: Senior advisers to the President are not immune from compelled congressional testimony.”
Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie alerts us:
…that Pelosi met with Judiciary Democrats on Monday night, where they decided to hold Don McGahn in contempt if he doesn’t show up to testify today.
McGahn is a key witness in determining whether the Prznint obstructed justice during Mueller’s 22-month investigation.