Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu of California said on Monday that Congress doesn’t have to wait for the courts to start taking legal action against the Trump administration.
According to the lawmaker, if the House Judiciary Committee votes to hold attorney general William Barr in contempt, it would set in motion a chain of events that would give Congress to take action of their own to hold Trump administration officials on their own.
“We can take actions through our internal congressional processes, such as levying fines on individuals without having to go to court,” Rep. Lieu said. “The Supreme Court has said we have that power.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) May 7, 2019
Rep. Lieu said:
If the Judiciary Committee in the House votes to hold Bill Barr in contempt, it triggers two things. One, it allows us to litigate the issue in court. Second, it triggers inherent contempt power, which means we can take actions through our internal congressional processes, such as levying fines on individuals without having to go to court. The Supreme Court has said we have that power. Look, it should not be our first option, but if the Trump administration is going to engage in all of this norm and rule and law violating, then we have to look at all options.
The administration is practically begging Congress to take tough legal action
From William Barr violating a subpoena to Steve Mnuchin breaking a federal statute by not releasing Donald Trump’s tax returns, this administration is essentially begging Congress to take legal action against them.
The Democrats were initially right to be cautious and not appear to be overreaching in their efforts to hold Trump accountable, but it has become blatantly clear that this White House will continue to brazenly disregard the rule of law until Congress flexes its oversight authority to its fullest extent.
Donald Trump is sprinting this government toward authoritarian rule, and the Democrats can no longer afford to respond with just baby steps.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.