Is Trump Pushing Back Too Hard Against Subpoenas?

One suspects that Philip Klein - editor at the Washington Examiner - is not a big fan of Trump but he’s nowhere near as explicit or vicious as a Rick Wilson. Call him an elegantly moderate Republican with a Masters Degree in Journalism from Columbia and a fair bit of experience in conservative media. Phil is worried about the White House’s assertion of executive privilege with regard to both the unredacted Mueller report and to any other documents, like Trump’s tax returns, that Democrats are demanding and seemingly willing to subpoena people to obtain them.

Is Phil Klein right to be worried?

"Another aspect of Trump's posture that's worrisome is his blanket statement, 'We're fighting all the subpoenas.'" he wrote in the Washington Examiner.

"As noted above, there are plenty of examples of presidents invoking executive privilege to block congressional requests for documents or official testimony. But there is a difference between invoking privilege in each individual case, for specific reasons, and declaring an intention up front to be broadly uncooperative because members of the popularly elected opposition party 'aren't impartial people.'"

True, but this works both ways in a spiraling descent into abuse of process. Because Democrats are interested in using anything to discredit Trump with a view to the elections next year, and often threaten to launch impeachment proceedings. The latest thing is President Trump's tax returns from years past. Consider the leak of Trump's earlier tax returns from the 80's and 90's that the NY Times recently reported on. The article delves into the details of tax losses used to reduce or even eliminate income taxes. This has nothing to do with legality and more to do with the appearance of unseemly (at worst) use of the incredibly complex IRS tax code to lower one's taxes as much as possible.

Which is good enough reason for some to attack. James Hohmann wrote in The Daily 202:

Congressional Democrats say these records from three decades ago show the need to see more, especially to understand how he climbed out of the hole he dug himself into and the extent to which he has depended on foreign investors. "As these records make clear, Trump was perhaps the worst businessman in the world. His entire campaign was a lie," Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.) said in a statement. "He didn't pay taxes for years and lost over $1 billion dollars. How is that possible? How did he keep getting more money and where on Earth was it all going? We need to know now. Second, we must still see Trump's actual returns over the last generation. The IRS must abide by the legal requirement to provide them as requested under Section 6103(f). We now have another part of the truth. We need a lot more."

Did you notice that he demands to see Trump's returns over the last generation?

What's on trial now in the minds of people like Rep. Pascrell is Trump's business practices. His. Business. Practices. As if that is reason to launch impeachment proceedings, or if not, to vote him out of office. Do you remember Michael Bloomberg's speech to Democratic Convention in 2016, when he said, "I'm a New Yorker and I know a con when I see one."?

This from the man who reportedly spent $80 million in last year's mid-term elections and it wasn't to help Republicans gain seats. It's an NYC billionaire brawl! Except no one really cares that much about Bloomberg's opinions any more. House Democrats, on the other hand, can and perhaps will use their majority to spend the next 18 months spending their staff budgets on opposition research on the President.

In this sort of an environment, can you blame Trump's robust pushback against Congressional subpoenas? Even if it surely will create a precedent that future Democrat administrations will avail themselves of.

Posted by Keeley at May 14, 2019 5:00 PM
Comments
Comment #443409

The political environment in our nation’s capital is toxic with congressional overreach, past abuse of power by some federal agencies, and evident judicial prejudice.

Despite all the distractions, the president must conduct the nation’s business, deal with both friendly and hostile nations, and prepare the nation for armed conflict if necessary. He does this under the watchful eye of a free, and sometimes openly belligerent, media.

His political enemies both in and out of congress seem intent on overwhelming President Trump with distractions in hopes of making him less effective in his Constitutional duties.

If they succeed the nation suffers. And; I don’t think they care as long as they feel no pain. I listen to Democrats plead that they are charged with oversight of the executive and are just doing their job.

Does anyone believe that? What did we just go through over the past two years? What does a congressional probe hope to find that Mueller, and all his resources, didn’t find?

Being angry at losing an election is understandable. Causing pain to the nation because of that anger is unforgivable.

Posted by: Royal Flush at May 14, 2019 6:23 PM
Comment #443413

Trump should launch huge numbers of investigations with credible investigators. He should hire his own people to look at things legally and not politically. It’s his turn.


Posted by: Weary Willie at May 14, 2019 9:17 PM
Comment #443415

Congress is overstepping it’s bounds by saying it’s the law for Trump to surrender his returns. First, it is for legislative purposes only to demand those in the administration to surrender their tax returns, not just the president. Trump wasn’t in any administration in 2013-2016 or in the last generation. The law doesn’t pertain to just him, it encompasses his entire administration.

Also, the constitution forbids creating a law that pertains to only one person. A law pertaining only to this president amounts to a bill of attainder and forbidden as per Article I, Section 9, Clause 3 of the Constitution.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 14, 2019 9:34 PM
Comment #443417
Royal Flush wrote: Being angry at losing an election is understandable. Causing pain to the nation because of that anger is unforgivable.
Right, they look like crybabies and poor losers.
But, that’s a good thing, because it will be a great motivator to win voters over to their way of thinking!
Weary Willie wrote: Congress is overstepping it’s bounds by saying it’s the law for Trump to surrender his returns.
Absolutely [i.e. overstepping], because there is no law that requires it.
Also, the weaponized IRS has already been auditing Trump’s taxes every year for that last 16 years, so IF there was a violation, it would have already been BIG news.
“Grave-digger” Democrats keep beating a dead horse, while digging it’s grave ever deeper.
Democrats are in search of a crime.
Is that how anyone should be treated?
Also, how can there be a crime of “obstruction”, when there is no crime of “collusion” in the first place?
But, that’s a good thing, because it will be a great motivator to win voters over to their way of thinking!

It is ironic that the Mueller report may reveal clues to the culprits in the deep state who weaponized the DOJ, FBI, NSA, IRS, EPA, NLRB, and conspired to use FISA abuses and a FAKE Steele dossier against a sitting president?
Those culprits may be one or more of the following:

    James Comey, Loretta Lynch, Andrew McCabe, Andrew Weissmann, Sally Yates, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, John Brennan, James Clapper, Susan Rice, John McCain, possibly Barrack Obama?
And there may be an FBI email chain that provides evidence of FISA abuses, and members of the deep state who were behind the 2+ year hoax?
Do you think Democrats will now start turning on each other ?
But, all of this is a good thing, because it will be a great motivator to win voters over to their way of thinking!

Posted by: d.a.n at May 14, 2019 10:17 PM
Comment #443473

d.a.n. asks; “Do you think Democrats will now start turning on each other ?”

Yes, I do.

Posted by: Royal Flush at May 15, 2019 5:12 PM
Comment #443510

It looks like James Comey and Rod Rosenstein are already trying to throw each other under the bus.

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