House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings blasted Attorney General William Barr for, “a massive, unprecedented, and growing pattern of obstruction.”
Cummings said in a statement after Attorney General William Barr ordered John Gore, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, to defy a bipartisan subpoena to appear at a deposition tomorrow relating to the Administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census:
“This is a massive, unprecedented, and growing pattern of obstruction. Yesterday, President Trump declared to the entire country that he would obstruct Congress and order all White House officials to defy lawful subpoenas from Congress. Today, the Trump Administration went even further by expanding this policy to employees at federal agencies—even when the subpoenas are bipartisan and supported by Republican Members of Congress. The subpoena that was issued to Mr. Gore was adopted by our Committee on a bipartisan basis. Neither the White House nor the Department of Justice has asserted any privilege that would relieve Mr. Gore of his legal duty to comply.”
Rep. Cummings was correct. The president and the attorney general are acting in open defiance of the law and the Constitution. Anyone who follows the orders of Trump and Barr is placing themselves in legal jeopardy.
Cummings later urged federal employees to think carefully before getting caught up in Trump obstruction schemes, “Both President Trump and Attorney General Barr are now openly ordering federal employees to ignore congressional subpoenas and simply not show up—without any assertion of a valid legal privilege. These employees and their personal attorneys should think very carefully about their own legal interests rather than being swept up in the obstruction schemes of the Trump Administration.”
Trump and Barr have turned the post-Mueller report political landscape into total warfare.
Democrats are going to have to fight for every single witness and document because if there is one thing that every American knows about Donald Trump, it is that he has no qualms about breaking the law.
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