NBC: House Judiciary authorizes subpoena for full Mueller report

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/house-judiciary-prepares-subpoena-full-mueller-report-n990406

This should be interesting. Will there be rioting in the streets, as some have predicted? Will the Supreme Court get involved? Will AG Barr or Chairman Nadler blink?

My view is that Congress is not entitled to get what it is asking for. Hence the issues involved are all academic in the purest meaning of the term.

16 thoughts on “NBC: House Judiciary authorizes subpoena for full Mueller report

  1. “The Supreme Court has held that the power to investigate is implied in the Constitution’s vesting of legislative powers in Congress.[4] In furtherance of these powers, Congress may compel the disclosure of documents or require the attendance and testimony of witnesses at hearings through the issuance of subpoenas.[5] Failure to comply with a valid subpoena or the provision of false statements to Congress may result in criminal liability.”

    https://www.loc.gov/law/help/parliamentary-oversight/unitedstates.php

    I doubt there will be rioting.

    I believe the precedence and court rulings do give Congress the power of overt sight and subpoena with regards to documents and investigations.

    Also all spending originates in Congress and thus paid for the report. But that is not as important as the power vested in Congress to oversee the Executive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the link.

      I agree that Congess has oversight authority and investigative powers. As I understand it, though, the redactions and other limitations the AG is contemplating are required by law. I’m pretty sure Congress has no authority to compell the AG — or anyone else — to break the law.

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      1. There are no redactions required by law when the audience is the Intelligence Committee of the House of Representatives. That is just another LIE conjured up to fool those eager to be fooled.

        As the Honorable Gerald Nadler put it in his opening statement . . .

        “This committee requires the full report and the underlying materials because it is our job, not the attorney general’s, to determine whether or not President Trump has abused his office.”

        That is an accurate statement of their Constitutional role when it comes to malfeasance by the President. The Special Counsel reports in both the Nixon and Clinton matters were provided to Congress including materials originally part of a Grand Jury process.

        Finally, Trump cannot BOTH claim that the report fully exonerates him AND block the report from being made available to the House. That makes no sense at all. What we have here with the Barr letter is another failing rearguard effort to protect Trump from the consequences of his actions.

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      2. RE: “There are no redactions required by law when the audience is the Intelligence Committee of the House of Representatives.”

        Neither does the law or the Constitution require the Special Counsel’s report to be made available to Congress. I get it that some in Congress believe their oversight responsibilities give them authority to see whatever they wish, but that proposition to my knowledge has never been tested in the courts.

        Assuming the two branches of government are co-equal, neither can compel the other to do anything.

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        1. So, we can agree that anyone claiming it is illegal for AG Barr to provide the Mueller report in full to the House is a liar. Good. And we can also agree that no law requires that such a report be turned over. BUT, that is very different from such a report and its authors being immune to a subpoena.

          The subpoena question was at least partially addressed when Bill Clinton got one and the Courts said he had to comply. No one is above the law. But, I will grant you, it may be in court again since Trump is obviously very unwilling to let the House see the full report and may fight it in spite of his public statements that he has nothing to hide and wants to see it released.

          If the Courts DO side with the Imperial Presidency then Congress can simply use its subpoena powers to plow over the same ground that Mueller did. It can call any and all of these characters – including Donnie, Jr., Ivanka and Jared – and require their truthful testimony.

          Whatever is required, everything that Trump wants hidden will be coming to light. IMHO.

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          1. RE: “So, we can agree that anyone claiming it is illegal for AG Barr to provide the Mueller report in full to the House is a liar.”

            No, we cannot agree on that. Your assertion is that because the audience is Congress, no redactions are required by law. I believe the redactions are required by law, regardless of the audience.

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        2. “Assuming the two branches of government are co-equal, neither can compel the other to do anything.”

          Not true. Congress can remove the president by impeachment by the House and conviction in the Senate.

          And as my earlier link showed, Congress can compel the turning over of documents. SCOTUS has ruled such power is Constitutional.

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          1. RE: “Congress can remove the president by impeachment by the House and conviction in the Senate.”

            Yes, it can. However, the president — presumably — can refuse to leave office. Some have argued that the Marine Corps exists, in part, for this very reason.

            RE: “Congress can compel the turning over of documents.”

            Congress can try, but this is the very question at issue. Having Constituional authority to perform oversight as your link describes does not necessarily extend to compeling any action on the part of the Executive. Executive priviledge, for example, is one of the recognized limitations on oversight.

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        3. “Yes, it can. However, the president — presumably — can refuse to leave office. Some have argued that the Marine Corps exists, in part, for this very reason.”

          If he is convicted in the Senate, he is no longer CINC. The VP is and the Marines are under his command. The have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, not be the president’s personal Praetorian Guard.

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          1. RE: “If he is convicted in the Senate, he is no longer CINC.”

            You mean if he is LEGITIMATELY convicted in the Senate, and if the Senate has a police force at its disposal which can overpower the Marines who reject the conviction.

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          2. “You mean if he is LEGITIMATELY convicted in the Senate, and if the Senate has a police force at its disposal which can overpower the Marines who reject the conviction.”

            How would he not be legitimately convicted if Constitutional procedures are followed and the a Senate is in Republican control?

            More importantly you are suggesting a takeover by the president and a small contingent of the armed forces. Why the call for violence? Time for a dictator to your liking?

            We may be divided, but we are not broken.

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          3. RE: “More importantly you are suggesting a takeover by the president and a small contingent of the armed forces.”

            I am pointing out that the balance of powers established under our Constitution runs deeper than the letter of the law. You wouldn’t want it any other way, as that would mean government has no real power.

            In this instance, an abuse of power by the Congress would be met by Executive authority. That is, if members of Congress violate their oaths of office to uphold the Constitution, the president has the authority to take them into custody by force to face, if appropriate, military tribunals. The Marine Corps is the assigned agency to peform this role.

            Should events transpire in such a way, the American people might find it shocking, but it is all perfectly legal and Constitutional.

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        4. “I am pointing out that the balance of powers established under our Constitution runs deeper than the letter of the law. You wouldn’t want it any other way, as that would mean government has no real power.”

          That is not true unless you want a dictator. The government has plenty of power under the rule of law.

          “In this instance, an abuse of power by the Congress would be met by Executive authority. That is, if members of Congress violate their oaths of office to uphold the Constitution, the president has the authority to take them into custody by force to face, if appropriate, military tribunals. The Marine Corps is the assigned agency to peform this role.”

          I have never seen that. Do you have a cite somewhere?

          And what would constitute violating the oaths of office by Congress? And who decides what is a violation? I think a rogue president is more likely. He would have to gather more than a few Marines to violate their oaths of service.

          You and Don seem to prefer threats of violence in case political solutions are not in your favor.

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          1. _RE: “I have never seen that. Do you have a cite somewhere?”

            Sure. From “Marine Corps 101” at http://www.marines.mil.

            The National Security Act of 1947 directed the Marine Corps to conduct:

            • The seizure or defense of advanced naval bases and other land operations to support naval campaigns
            • The development of tactics, techniques and equipment used by amphibious landing forces
            • Such other duties as the President may direct

            The third bullet of the USMC mission statement places the Marines under the President’s direct operational control. I believe this is the basis for their security operations at the White House and in and around Washington D.C., U.S. military bases and U.S. embassies.

            RE: “You and Don seem to prefer threats of violence in case political solutions are not in your favor.”

            Don’t misread me. I’m challenging your assumption that political power flows from the Constitution. The point to grasp is that Constitutional authorities are only as good as the ability to back them up with force. The presidency is the only branch of our government which has that ability.

            Like

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