Balance of power, Barr, Congressional Oversight, Elijah Cummings, Gore, Obstruction, prophetic voice, Russia, separation of powers, subpoenas, Trump, Trump Administration, Trump Putin meeting notes, Trump taxes, US Congress, US Declaration of Independence, White House
“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…
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” (US House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings, April 24, 2019)
“it appears that the President believes that the Constitution does not apply to his White House, that he may order officials at will to violate their legal obligations, and that he may obstruct attempts by Congress to conduct oversight. It also appears that the White House believes that it may dictate to Congress—an independent and co-equal branch of government—the scope of its investigations and even the rules by which it conducts them. To date, the White House has refused to produce a single piece of paper or a single witness in any of the Committee’s investigations this entire year.” (US House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings, Apr. 23, 2019)
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord…” (Malachi 4:5, KJV)
“In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.” (US Declaration of Independence: https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript
From the US House Oversight and Government Reform:
“Trump Administration Expands Obstruction Campaign Beyond White House Staff to Agency Officials Apr 24, 2019 Press Release
Barr Orders DOJ Official to Defy Bipartisan Subpoena from Congress in “Massive, Unprecedented, and Growing Pattern of Obstruction”
Washington, D.C. (Apr. 24, 2019)— Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following 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.
“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.
“As an officer of the court and a senior lawyer in a position of public trust at the Department of Justice, Mr. Gore should be well aware of his constitutional, legal, and ethical obligations to comply with a duly authorized subpoena from Congress. Those obligations have not been erased by the Attorney General or the President.
“Committee investigators will gather tomorrow morning for this deposition—as scheduled—and we hope Mr. Gore will fulfill his legal and ethical responsibilities and appear as ordered.”
On February 14, 2019, Cummings requested a voluntary interview with Gore regarding his role in the Administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2019-02-14.EEC%20to%20Gore-DOJ%20re%20Transcribed%20Interview%20Request_0.pdf
On March 7, 2019, Committee staff conducted the interview, but Gore refused to answer more than 150 questions at the direction of Department of Justice (DOJ) counsel. https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/documents/2019-03-14.%20Supplemental%20Memo%20on%20Gore%20TI.pdf
Neither DOJ nor Gore asserted any valid privilege, but instead claimed that Gore could not answer due to separate ongoing litigation—an argument that has been thoroughly debunked. As the Supreme Court has stated, “surely a congressional committee which is engaged in a legitimate legislative investigation need not grind to a halt whenever responses to its inquiries might potentially be harmful to a witness in some distinct proceeding.”
On March 7, 2019, as an accommodation, Committee staff proposed that Gore return to answer a more limited set of 18 key questions that he refused to answer during his interview. DOJ refused. https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/documents/2019-04-10.EEC%20to%20Barr-DOJ%20re%20Gore%20Deposition.pdf
On April 2, 2019, the Committee authorized a subpoena for Gore’s deposition on a bipartisan basis, with all Democrats and one Republican voting in favor. Cummings issued the subpoena the same day. https://oversight.house.gov/news/press-releases/committee-approves-subpoenas-in-security-clearance-and-census-investigations
On April 9, 2019, DOJ wrote to the Committee that Attorney General Barr had “determined that Mr. Gore will not appear” at the deposition “unless a Department representative may accompany him.” https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/DOJ.040919.Response%20to%20EEC%20re%20Gore%20Subpoena.pdf
On April 10, 2019, Cummings responded by explaining that Committee Rules have prohibited agency counsel in depositions for many years under multiple Republican and Democratic Committee Chairmen and providing numerous examples of agency officials who have been deposed under these rules. https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/documents/2019-04-10.EEC%20to%20Barr-DOJ%20re%20Gore%20Deposition.pdf
On April 24, 2019, DOJ sent a letter notifying the Committee that Attorney General Barr ordered Gore not to appear at the deposition, but the letter included no assertion of any legally valid privilege. https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/April%2024%20ltr%20to%20The%20Hon.%20Elijah%20E.%20Cummings%20from%20John%20Adams.pdf ”
Regarding US Census and redistricting: “APPENDIX C: Data Requirements for Reapportionment and Redistricting” https://www.nap.edu/read/4805/chapter/15