Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Sub(poena) Optimal

Another week, another Trump regime flunky ignoring a House subpoena, and another round of mostly empty threats from the Democrats.

White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway on Monday defied a congressional subpoena, refusing to show up for testimony to the House Oversight and Reform Committee about her violations of the Hatch Act and prompting House Democrats to threaten to hold her in contempt of Congress.

In a letter to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the chairman of the panel, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone asserted the Trump administration’s long-standing view that current and former presidential advisers are “absolutely immune” from congressional testimony, writing: “Ms. Conway cannot be compelled to testify before Congress with respect to matters related to her service as a senior adviser to the president.”

“Because of this constitutional immunity, and in order to protect the prerogatives of the Office of the President, the president has directed Ms. Conway not to appear at the committee's scheduled hearing,” Cipollone continued.

Cummings threatened to hold Conway in contempt of Congress if she does not honor the subpoena before July 25.

“This is a clear cut case. We are not requiring her to testify about advice she gave the president or about the White House’s policy decisions,” Cummings said before adjourning Monday’s hearing.

“We are requiring her to testify before Congress about her multiple violations of federal law, her waste of taxpayer funds, and her actions that compromise public confidence in the integrity of the federal government,” he added.

Conway is just the latest administration official to find herself a target of House Democrats’ investigations. White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham slammed House Democrats, accusing them of trying to “harass” the White House with their myriad probes targeting the president and his administration.

“Today, Chairman Cummings and Democrats on the House Oversight Committee continued their purely political campaign to harass the president and his close advisors,” Grisham said. “Democrats continue to overreach and politicize the Office of Special Counsel — this time, by trying to silence Kellyanne Conway with ill-founded, phony allegations about the Hatch Act.”

So most likely we'll see some behind-the-scenes negotiations and a closed-door testimony on none of the subjects the Dems want to actually grill Conway about, and we'll move on.

We'll see if today's contempt votes for William Barr and Wilbur Ross go any better.

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