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Contemptuous Undemocratic Dems

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Dems controlling the House Judiciary Committee would be ridiculed as laughing stocks if their actions to continue Russiagate witch hunt proceedings weren’t so serious — their actions politicized, not legitimate, contemptuous of justice under law.

On Wednesday, the committee voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing to release the full Mueller witch hunt report unredacted.

It was much ado about nothing. Nothing damning was discovered  related to his mandate — no improper or illegal Trump/Russia connection, no DJT obstruction of justice.

Phony claims about Russian US election meddling were based on fabricated US intelligence claims, no evidence supporting them.

Mueller’s politicized probe was a colossal waste of time, millions of dollars spent for nothing. He never should have been appointed special counsel in the first place. 

The whole ugly business was the shame of the nation — political soap opera, no end of it likely as long as Trump remains president. 

House, Senate, and Mueller reports should have been the end of it — not with undemocratic Dems controlling the House and its committees, supported by establishment media, hostile to Trump for triumphing over Hillary.

Judiciary Committee members voted to cite Barr for contempt by a 24 – 16 majority along party lines, a House floor vote to follow, committee chairman Jerrold Nadler, saying the following:

“We’ve talked for a long time about approaching a constitutional crisis. We are now in it.” A Justice Department spokeswoman responded as follows, saying:

“It is deeply disappointing that elected representatives of the American people have chosen to engage in such inappropriate political theatrics.”

A protracted legal battle will likely ensue, perhaps heading for Supreme Court resolution. What’s going on is continuation of the politicized Russiagate witch hunt that never should have been initiated.

If Hillary had triumphed over Trump, instead of the other way around, none of what’s gone on for the past two years would have happened, something else instead.

Things likely would have focused on vilifying US adversaries, along with waging more wars than ongoing — including possible nuclear war on Russia and/or Iran, perhaps coming anyway, later rather than sooner.

On Wednesday, Trump invoked executive privilege to block release of the unredacted Mueller report. Ahead of the Judiciary Committee’s Wednesday vote, a White House statement called holding Barr in contempt of Congress “unlawful and reckless.”

Eric Holder was the only other US attorney general served with a contempt citation by Congress, the issued resolved after years of litigation, what’s likely ahead for William Barr, the case against both figures politicized.

Trump invoking executive privilege to prevent release of Mueller’s report unredacted may be used by Dems as a pretext for impeachment — despite virtually no chance of conviction by the GOP-controlled Senate.

If a House floor vote holds Barr in contempt, a citation will either be sent to the District of Columbia’s US attorney or the Justice Department for possible prosecution. 

The DOJ is highly unlikely to prosecute Barr, head of the department, especially not for political reasons.

Separately, the Dem-controlled House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed the DOJ for release of “all counterintelligence and foreign intelligence materials in the probe, the full (Mueller) report, and underlying evidence.”

Things are shaping up for Barr to battle House Dems on two fronts, maybe more to come. Earlier federal courts rulings sided with the congressional right to probe issues under its mandate.

They also upheld the right of executive privilege, but not always. In United States v. Nixon (July 1974), the Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the president, ordering him to release tape recordings and other subpoenaed materials to a federal district court — limiting presidential executive privilege power.

At the time, noted jurists on the Burger court included William O. Douglas, William J. Brennan, and Thurgood Marshall. No one on the high court today approaches their stature. 

Stacked with right-wing extremists, progressive voices for social justice shut out. The words “Equal Justice Under Law” adorning the High Court Building’s west facade is a meaningless figure of speech today.

Commenting on the contempt action against Barr, Law Professor Jonathan Turley called it “long on action and short on contempt,” adding: 

“Indeed, with a superficial charge, the House could seriously undermine its credibility in the ongoing conflicts with the White House.” 

“Congress is right on a number of complaints against the White House, including possible cases of contempt, but this is not one of them.”

Turley believes chairman Nadler’s case for contempt “would not withstand even a cursory judicial review.”

Dems “are launching the weakest possible contempt claim against the administration in a civil action with a long track through the courts. In the end, there is utter contempt in this action, but not in the case of Barr,” he said.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.