Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The Reach To Impeach, Con't

As expected on Monday, Attorney General Bill Barr has now skipped out on delivering the full Mueller Report to House Judiciary Dems, and the contempt process is now underway.

The House Judiciary Committee will vote Wednesday to hold Attorney General William P. Barr in contempt of Congress, after the Justice Department appeared to miss a Monday deadline to negotiate the delivery of Robert S. Mueller III’s full report, along with key evidence collected by the special counsel.

The committee’s chairman, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, said the vote would occur at 10 a.m. A 27-page report accompanying the vote notice on Monday recommends that Mr. Barr “shall be found to be in contempt of Congress for failure to comply with a congressional subpoena.”

The Democratic-controlled panel almost certainly will vote in favor of contempt unless the Justice Department meets the Democrats’ demands before Wednesday. The full House would then have to hold a vote. It is unclear when that would occur.

“Although the Committee has attempted to engage in accommodations with Attorney General Barr for several months, it can no longer afford to delay, and must resort to contempt proceedings,” the report submitted by Mr. Nadler said.

Jerry Nadler wouldn't be doing this without Nancy Pelosi's tacit permission, and Nancy Pelosi wouldn't be doing this unless she had the votes to hold Barr in contempt.  Now, there's room here for Pelosi to wiggle, as she by no means has to hold the vote right away.

Also, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is not turning over Trump's tax returns, and he says it's unconstitutional so he won't do it.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday told House Democrats he would not furnish President Trump’s tax returns despite their legal request, the latest move by Trump administration officials to shield the president from congressional investigations.

Mnuchin, in a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.), said he had consulted with the Justice Department and that they had concluded that it would not be lawful for the Trump administration to turn over the tax returns because of potential violations of privacy.

Mnuchin added that requests from Congress “must serve a legitimate legislative purpose” and that the request from Democrats does not.

A number of legal experts have said it would be unprecedented for Mnuchin to refuse to turn over the tax returns, as the power for lawmakers to seek the returns is written explicitly in a 1924 law.

But Mnuchin, Trump’s former campaign finance chairman, has fought to protect the returns from public disclosure and said it would create a dangerous precedent if the returns are released. Mnuchin’s announcement on Monday appears to be his final decision in the matter, though he has hinted for weeks that he would not allow the release.

Neal said in a statement on Monday evening, “I will consult with counsel and determine the appropriate response.”

So at this point both Mnuchin and Barr are daring House Democrats to do anything, and they're absolutely betting on this turning into "Well both sides do it!" rather than "Republicans are openly breaking the law."  That's already starting to be the case.

Besides the Trump regime is counting on nobody caring anyway. Steve M:

President Trump doesn't believe he needs legislative accomplishments in order to be reelected. (Being reelected is his only real goal as president, because he likes the glory and he wants to stay out of legal trouble.) He doesn't care about an infrastructure bill or a prescription drug plan. And because he's a malignant narcissist, he's not concerned about the harm he might do if he plunges the U.S. into another debt ceiling crisis, any more than he cared about the harm that came from shutting down much of the government late last year.

Trump has one goal from now until November: to maximize his lib ownage every day. He thinks he can win reelection with a base-only strategy, and he may be right: the Electoral College, vote suppression in red-but-trending-purple states, third-party candidacies, and the likely complicity of the mainstream media in catapulting GOP propaganda all mean that he could very well win. Sure, he'd take a couple of legislative accomplishments, but for his one win in that area, the tax bill, he relied on Mitch McConnell to do all the hard work, and since McConnell knows that the success of his delegation depends exclusively on lib ownage, he's not going to lift a finger -- certainly not to pass legislation that appeals to moderates and might get Democratic votes.

So, no, Democrats have no leverage -- not that they'd use it if they had it, because, y'know, they're Democrats. There's nothing Trump feels he needs that only they can provide, so they have no power over him at all.

Unless Dems are willing to start putting Bill Barr and Steven Mnuchin in jail for contempt, Steve is right.  Trump is going to win this, we'll never see his tax returns, we'll never see the full Mueller report, and nobody in America will give a good god damn about either way as long as there's not a recession.

Barr and Mnuchin will not be compelled to lift a finger, and that's basically the end of the ballgame for this country.

We'll see.

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