Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) said that the House should pass inherent contempt legislation if Trump refuses to provide Congress with election security briefings.
Rep. Lieu said on MSNBC:
The director is simply lying when he puts China and Russia at the same level in terms of election interference. Russia is interfering in our elections and they’re going to do so again. Public reporting on China isn’t the same so he needs to stop making that false equivalence.
Second, what is the Trump administration hiding from Congress and the American people? Basically, he just doesn’t want to be asked questions and that is the whole point of oversight is to ask questions of the ODNI
Director. And third, when he does these written finished products, that takes time. We’re not going to real-time information. With the election sixty-some days away, it’s critical he does these briefings or his subordinates do these briefings in-person to Congress and if he doesn’t, I believe we should consider subpoenaing some of those officials then we need to put inherent contempt legislation that gives teeth to other congressional subpoenas.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) calls for inherent contempt legislation, which could mean criminal penalties if Trump refuses to give the House election security briefings. pic.twitter.com/UunKaXD66N
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) August 30, 2020
Rep. Lieu was correct. The Trump excuse of only offering written briefings is not good enough, because who knows if the administration will ever provide the briefing before the presidential election? The Trump administration is trying to keep information about election interference from the American people, so it is one hundred percent likely that they will not be providing information to Congress about the activities of Russia to help Donald Trump.
If the House began imposing civil and potentially criminal penalties on the members of the administration who are refusing to provide vital election security briefings, things might change fast. A subpoena by itself is going to go nowhere. Democrats have to put some muscle behind their actions and make Trump for trying to keep the American people in the dark.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association