Former White House Counsel Don McGahn recently won a battle over a subpoena from the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Jerry Nadler.
McGahn argued that the subpoena was too broad and an appeals court agreed.
The move has Democrats incensed, including Speaker Pelosi who said that it was “a challenge to our system of checks & balances, and is at odds with Supreme Court precedent.”
Their response is to resurrect a Congressional power called Inherent Contempt. A power that hasn’t been exercised in 90 years.
This power allowed the House to send out the Seargent at Arms to arrest a person who was not complying with a congressional subpoena.
The McGhan decision is stunningly wrong. At the same time, the decision does underscore Congress’ inherent contempt powers. That’s why we need to pass ASAP the inherent contempt bill introduced by @RepJoeNeguse, @RepDean, @RepCicilline, @RepValDemings, @RepRaskin & me. https://t.co/sFbflQnn9d
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) August 31, 2020
There are other ways to enforce subpoenas as Fox News reports:
Lieu led the introduction of a resolution to change the rules of the House in late June which would provide procedures for the House to negotiate with witnesses who are not cooperating with subpoenas. But if no deal can be made the chamber would be able to levy a fine of $25,000 against the person being held in inherent contempt. That total could be increased in $25,000 increments if the person doesn’t cooperate with the subpoena within 20 days, with a maximum penalty of $100,000.
Congress has relied on two other forms of contempt in recent years, most commonly civil contempt, where the body relies on courts to enforce subpoenas. It has also used criminal contempt, which asks the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prosecute the case. But with a Trump administration that has cooperated very little with Congress in charge of the DOJ and fighting tooth-and-nail in the courts, these House Democrats are seeking to use their inherent contempt power as a third, more direct option.
“Congress must do more to enforce our lawfully issued subpoenas,” Cicilline said. “The inherent contempt power was used for decades to ensure no individual could hold themselves above the law. Given this President’s clear disdain for Congress’ ability to conduct oversight on behalf of the American people, it is time to reinvigorate this power to hold him and any future administrations accountable.”
The last time inherent contempt was used was on Assistant Secretary of Commerce William MacCracken.
But it wasn’t as bad as you think as Fox News’ Chad Pergram noted:
5) The Senate arrested MacCracken & held him for 10 days. Not in the mythical Capitol jail underneath the Crypt where George Washington was supposed to have been buried (where there is no evidence that anyone was ever jailed). But at the posh Willard Hotel in downtown Washington
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) August 31, 2020
Awwww poor Nancy and company lost.
All I want is to have the entire democrat congress and senate arrested and held in prison in gitmo forever and ever. They show everyday how corrupt they are and thrive dreaming of becoming their beloved communist country.
The checks and balances have shown that Nancy Pelosi is not fit to sit in office, let alone be the House Speaker. Talking about checks and balances that is.
For the last almost four years the Democrats have sought to hold the power of the Republicans hostage with the overzealous issuing of frivolous subpoenas.Republicans members are constantly tied up in litigation’s that end up having no merit and the publicity engendered unfortunatly, never goes away. .
How about when Eric Holder didn’t answer subpoenas and neither did Oblabla. And how about Hitlery?
and how does pelosi continue to be speaker when the POTUS has to be re-elected for a 2nd term and she gets to remain just by being appointed by her corrupt criminals that she threatens to keep her as speaker. she believes she is as powerful as our potus.
See Pelosi and House Democrats ignoring their duties as Representatives, ignoring the American people as usual, going after nothing, investigations into nothing, stirring up trouble out of nothing, and wasting Taxpayer monies as usual. Ah, America, hopefully come November, the Taxpayer can get rid of at least half of these no-accounts and get Real Americans seated in the House of Representatives.
Remove Pelosi from Congress now .She has violated her office for political gain for the last time 25years is to long to be in congress remove her now
From the way she looks it’s a hundred and twenty five years!
Psycho Pelosi has abused, disrupted and wasted public resources in the way of democratic house salaries to cherry pick nothing but CONTEMPT on her part.. so let’s get the arresting Sgt. at Arms to both Arrest, fine and Jail Pelosi.
She’s the resource wasting promlem of it all, AND she too is a contemtous LIAR in her own domain.
TAKE OUT THE TRASH
If they succeed then pull a Comey on them! Idont know, I cant be sure, I take the fifth!
Don’t you mean a HiLIARy Cankles Clinton?
Pelosi and her bunch of democrats, like to use and pull all kinds of powers knowing damn well they can’t use them. But let republicans do the same and they are ready for the attack and yelling anarchists and abuse of power.
Is there a more disgusting old hag around Washington…..well, I guess there are several equivalent, and all are democommunists. Piglosi, who never was very bright, now has Biden’s Disease.
Send out the Sgt at Arms to arrest someone — what kind of BS is that !!!!! The dirtbags who need to be arrested are piglosi and her house demoSCUM trash who have completely wasted 4 years and completely ignored their oath of office. They all should be dragged from congress and thrown in the dumpster with the rest of the garbage.
Nadler’s a dimwit, he thinks antifa is a myth! &25,000 is ridiculous, up to $100,000. Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress, did he pay a fine???
Demonrats need to listen to the people, and stop the socialist, globalist, communist agenda.
The whole Democat party is guilty of that rule. They believe themselves above the law. I say hold every politician to the same standard they hold everyone else, after all slander is slander.
I would like for congress to do something positive for once, sit down and come up with a balanced budget rather than passing the costs to every unborn child for the next generations to come!
Perhaps the House should start with former Attorney General Eric Holder who was held in CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS.
Haul him in.
Put him in the cell contained in the cellar of the Capitol Building.
THAT WILL START BRINGING THE CONGRESS WORKING WITHIN THE LAW AND UPHOLDING ITS OATH IN THE INTEREST OF THE PEOPLE.
IF a DC DISTRICT COURT upheld the subpoena as “too broad” you better bet your ass it was an illegal subpoena altogether.
DC District Courts are about as liberal as a court can be and generally I consider them to be an unofficial arm of the democrats.
Be careful what you wish for. If they pass this law it could swing both ways so I don’t think they really want that at this time.
Any guesses as to what Democrats would do if they were served such a House Subpoena by a Republican Majority House?
Contemptible congress trying to hold someone in contempt of Congress.
How about arresting Nancy, and the rest of the Democrat Domestic Terrorist (DDT) party for Contempt of America!?
I can’t find any part of the Constitution that gives congress “oversight” powers except the “necessary and proper” clause, and that only gives them authority to pass laws that are necessary and proper to execute the 17 powers enumerated in Article I, Section 8.
so can anyone tell me why they think they have these broad “oversight” powers and why we allow them to excercise them?
Not just the dim wit house, the senate too.