Things are getting ugly in Washington DC. Even uglier than normal.
Top Democrats and Republicans have taken polar opposite views on what is and isn’t legal in a growing raft of disputes intended to destabilise US President Donald Trump.
With both sides digging in the crisis, it’s beginning to spiral dangerously, with news coming that US Attorney William Barr will be held in contempt for his refusal to hand over the redacted copy of the Mueller report on the Russian election interference.
Barr in contempt after refusal of documents
According to RAE, a Democrat-led House panel has approved Barr’s contempt, after Donald Trump invoked his executive privilege to block the report’s disclosure. According to RAW, the panel approved the contempt resolution on a 24–16 vote along party lines.
But the committee’s Democratic chairman, Jerrold Nadler, told reporters following the approval that they have found themselves in a ‘constitutional crisis’ — throwing fuel on the already lit fire between the Democrat-controlled House and Republican president over congressional authority.
The vote was delivered mere hours after the White House used their executive privilege in blocking the release of Robert Mueller’s full report.
According to RAW, the move was likely to follow with a court battle, fines and possible imprisonment for Barr. Though Trump, of course, holds the power to pardon him.
But according to Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd, Barr couldn’t comply with the subpoena ‘without violating the law, court rules, and court orders, and without threatening the independence of the Department of Justice’s prosecutorial functions.’
We’re eagerly anticipating Trump’s next move.
Move deemed a use of ‘tyrannical power’
Kerri Kupec, the Justice Department spokeswoman said:
‘It is deeply disappointing that elected representatives of the American people have chosen to engage in such inappropriate political theatrics.’
She added that no one would force the department to ‘break the law’ by handing over documents that can’t be disclosed, as it contains secret grand jury material. But as it contains such personal information about Trump and his family, it is understood why he would want access.
It is the first time Trump has executed this power in his battle with Congress — a move hardly ever used by US presidents. And according to the White House, it’s a move that the Democrats have forced.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders called the move ‘protective’.
Conversely, Nadler has called Trump’s move an unsustainable ‘assertion of tyrannical power’ — but also avoided answering the question of whether he will continue to launch the impeachment process of removing Trump from office.
Some are seeing Trump’s move as an avoidance in addressing tax returns and past financial records in the lead up to the re-election in 2020, in which he is seeking to obtain a second term. And although Ms Sanders has said the release of the information would be too complex for the public to understand, it has raised the eyebrows, and stakes, of Trump-haters.
How and when this all comes to a head, we will be sure to report to you.
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