With the weight of the Mueller report looming over the Trump Administration, the president turns to his last refuge — the courts.
By Solomon Smith, Managing Editor
President Donald J. Trump’s administration continues its ongoing fight against a torrent of investigations from the House and the Senate.
Over 20 investigations of Trump’s White House are currently being pursued, according to the Washington Post, and have requested they provide both personnel and material relevant to the Mueller report. Most requests have been denied by the administration and are headed to a heated battle in the courts. Trump has been responding rapidly and prodigiously on Twitter.
“Ever since the Mueller Report showed No Collusion & No Obstruction, the Dems have been working overtime to damage me and the Republican Party by issuing over 80 demands for documents and testimonies, and with NO REASON,” tweeted Trump. “That’s all they want to do - don’t care about anything else!”
Starting with Attorney General William Bar’s absence from the House of Representatives’ hearing, it has been an ever increasingly antagonistic relationship between Congress and the president’s administration. Barr snubbed the Democratic lower house with a no show after appearing before the Republican controlled Senate. A ceramic chicken was placed in Barr’s stead put in front of his seat by Representative Steve Cohen, (D) of Tennessee. President of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerry Nadler, lambasted Barr and the Trump Administration for their lack of cooperation.
"[They] prevented us from obtaining information about voting rights, the ACA [Affordable Care Act], and family separations," said Nadler.
The absence resulted in another hearing in which Barr was held in contempt on May 8. The Trump Administration is also fighting off requests for an unredacted version of the Mueller report for Senate and house members, a request for McGhan and Mueller to appear before the Senate and a demand for Trump’s tax returns from the IRS.
At the release of the Mueller report, Republicans announced their victory and were reticent to continue investigations stemming from the second half of the report, which documents 11 times the president may have attempted to obstruct justice, according Mueller and his team. The report neither convicted or confirmed the president’s innocence and, instead, punted the responsibility of going further back to the Senate.
The numerous battle grounds that the president and Republicans are fighting on have created concerns over the constitutionality of Trump's defiance and the resultant consequences. Although Barr is not the first attorney general to be held in contempt — Eric Holder was on June 20. Very little came of Holder’s contempt charges, while Democrats explore how to execute contempt charges on Barr, the highest lawyer in the land.
Questions on defying requests, which are in the prevue of Congress, are also problematic. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin overrode Congress’ request for Trump’s taxes. The demand for the returns was directed to the IRS, but Mnuchin stepped in saying that it could invade the privacy of future presidents.
If the Trump administration continues to fight the ongoing investigations, by both branches of the Senate, the courts will be a key deciding party in this argument.