For people who grew up revering the Constitution, American jurisprudence based on due process and the presumption of innocence, the last three years have been a dystopian nightmare.
The next few weeks will be maddening as we watch Democrats move to impeach a president — just for being president, so they can win in 2020.
They are stepping up their attacks on executive privilege. Every move President Donald Trump makes is subject to reinterpretation by House lawmakers to give it a nefarious intent. It is scorched earth politics at its worst and the American people are being held hostage.
Trump’s term of office will one day come to an end but we the people will have to live with the wreckage of our most cherished institutions — our judiciary, our Congress and our Constitution. Yes. They belong to us, not the politicians. This crop will eventually leave the stage and the next generation will live with the legacy of a group of self-serving partisans who just want to win, no matter what it takes.
White House attorney Don McGahn had been subpoenaed to testify in April by the House Judiciary Committee. He asked the court to ratify the administration’s right to assert executive privilege on his behalf.
Democrats want to question McGahn about whether Trump tried to obstruct special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Executive privilege is a right granted to the president and other members of the executive branch to maintain confidential communications and to resist some subpoenas and other oversight by the legislative and judicial branches of government when revealing such information would impair governmental functions.
The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that executive privilege and congressional oversight are a consequence of the doctrine of the separation of powers, derived from the supremacy of each branch in its own area of constitutional activity.
U.S. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ruled Monday he would have to appear before Congress and assert privilege on a question-by-question basis.
In her 120-page opinion, Jackson asserted that Trump’s advisers do not enjoy “absolute immunity” from testifying under oath, claiming that “no one is above the law,” She criticized Trump’s blanket order directing aides not to testify before the House. She sided with Democrats who argued that the administration was stonewalling congressional oversight. She also took a nasty swipe at the president, handing the media a soundbite and talking point.
“Stated simply, the primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded American history is that presidents are not kings,” Jackson wrote.
Radio talk show host Mark Levin challenged the judge’s ruling on his Monday evening show as an effort to move the country backward, calling her an Obama-appointed radical leftist. He accused her of being ignorant regarding ‘true Constitutional law.’
“Now, this is what you need to understand, a president must be able to have legal advice. Must be able to have legal advice without Congress interfering, whether it’s an impeachment proceeding or any other proceeding. Otherwise, there’s no balance of power because the House of Representatives, unless there’s a criminal investigation, is not subject to any subpoenas,” said Levin.
“If a president can’t turn to a lawyer for legal advice, then it’s a disaster,” he argued.
“So, what she’s doing is she’s tilting the balance of power far away from the president to the Congress. Changing the structure of our government and the ability of the chief executive to function, to function. There is a circle of advice that a president gets in the inner circle that should be unmolested by these subpoenas,” Levin said.
The joy among The Resistance was tempered Wednesday when the intemperate judge temporarily delayed the effect of her ruling in response to a request from the Justice Department, noting she needs time to deliberate on issuing a lengthier stay to allow the department to appeal her decision.
If upheld, the ruling would force some of the president’s closest aides, including former national security adviser John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, to testify.