Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats are structuring a contempt vote against U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr for next week, June 11th. As part of the current construct, the Lawfare alliance of legal advisers and staff are writing specific language into the vote that will automatically allow more contempt votes against the Trump administration without hearings.
Their collective goal is to use a legislative vote to open a civil lawsuit against Bill Barr for his failure to deliver the fully unredacted Mueller report to them. Additionally, the contempt vote will be written so that any other arbitrary Trump administration official can also be held in contempt, without a committee vote, and thereby initiate a civil lawsuit against the executive officer that will have to be defended in court.
WASHINGTON DC – The House will vote next week to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena for special counsel Robert Mueller’s fully unredacted report and underlying evidence, according to multiple Democratic sources.
The resolution would clear the way for the House Judiciary Committee to take Barr to court to enforce its subpoena and settle the matter legally — a crucial step for Democrats seeking to accelerate their obstruction of justice investigation against President Donald Trump.
The vote, which will take place on June 11, will also include broad authority for congressional committees to take legal action against the Trump administration in future subpoena fights, the Democratic sources say. Democrats are still discussing whether to include former White House counsel Don McGahn in the resolution. (read more)
Pelosi and the Lawfare group are avoiding a criminal contempt process because that would require the DOJ to participate. Instead lawyers working on behalf of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, HPSCI Chairman Schiff, and/or White House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings will sue the Trump administration in civil court.
If they can win a civil award (they will carefully select the judge) Pelosi and Nadler can start issuing civil fines for contempt against individual cabinet members. Adam Schiff has previously stated his recommended target amount would be $25,000 per day/per person.
Now go back to December 2018 and the specific rule changes that Pelosi put in place, and you’ll see how this was planned out long ago. This lawfare approach, including every aspect of the Mueller probe and the delivery of the Weissmann report therein, is all part of one carefully planned continuum of activity. By design at the end of their plan is the official impeachment investigation.
Washington, D.C. –The House Judiciary Committee will continue hearings focused on the alleged crimes and other misconduct laid out in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. The next hearing entitled “Lessons from the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes” will take place on June 10th. The hearing will feature former White House Counsel John Dean as well as former U.S. Attorneys and legal experts. The Committee also plans to consider targeted legislative, oversight and constitutional remedies designed to respond to these matters. (read more)
See how it is all sequenced, timed and connected?
This has been their plan all along. Pelosi’s poo-pooing of impeachment was always a head-fake to the compliant media, designed to fabricate a narrative around unlikely impeachment, and throw people off the scent of a plan that was designed even before the mid-term election of 2018.
[Trust me, Pelosi’s approach to hide their plan works. Look at how many people criticized CTH warnings that Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler and Cummings were planning this out all along.]
After the 2018 mid-terms, and in preparation for the “impeachment” strategy, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler hired Lawfare Group members to become committee staff. Chairman Schiff hired former SDNY U.S. Attorney Daniel Goldman (link), and Chairman Nadler hired Obama Administration lawyer Norm Eisen and criminal defense attorney Barry Berke (link), all are within the Lawfare network.
[IMPORTANT: Keep in mind that Speaker Pelosi has selected former insider DOJ official Douglas Letter to be the Chief Legal Counsel for the House. That becomes important when we get to the part about new powers granted to the House Counsel.]
The Pelosi House rules clearly present the outline for an impeachment calendar as directed by changes to the oversight committees. Additionally, there is a myriad of new processes which appear to have been developed through the Lawfare alliance. Here’s some of the overview (full pdf below):
Pelosi sets up a new, much narrower, oversight priority for Chairman Elijah Cummings; specifically to tailor oversight to the White House and President Donald Trump. Additionally we see the outlined time-schedule for hearings.
In subsection “k” the “clarification” is the narrowing of Elijah Cummings focus. “Oversight Over the Executive Office of the President“. This sets up the system for Cummings to target President Trump, his family, and all members of the executive branch as they relate to specific White House functions.
The Pelosi rules tell Chairman Cummings to deliver his schedule for his investigation(s) to the House by April 15th, 2019. Thereafter the hearing sessions will commence. The objective of those hearings is House impeachment of the President; so now we know the general timeline the Democrats plan to follow.
♦ To help achieve that objective on Page #3 Pelosi changed the rules on depositions:
In previous oversight hearings depositions of witnesses could not be conducted by counsel unless minority members were also present. Pelosi removes that rule allowing an expanded team of House lawyers to question anyone regardless of whether there is a republican present to defend/protect the interests of the witness or target.
Additionally, in the event Republicans develop immediate defensive plans to push back against the weaponization of these oversight committees, Pelosi gives her Chairs 60 days to make up the rules for their committees so they can deflect any defenses.
♦ Following with the investigative plans for impeachment; and in conjunction with all new powers granted to a massively expanded group of House lawyers with new and expanded power; page #7 has specific rules to benefit HPSCI Chairman Adam Schiff:
HPSCI Chairman Adam Schiff can now, autonomously, demand and instruct depositions from anyone, at any time, for any reason; and the House Intelligence Committee does not need to consider any possible scheduling conflicts for any of the targets, or have any republican members present therein. [Schiff granted far more power than Nunes.]
♦ Page #9 is the beginning of a very interesting new power being granted to an expanded office of House Legal Counsel:
This is only the first part of this Pelosi rule. This part speaks to coordination with Lawfare and similar activist groups outside government. The House will now defend Obamacare, and all other possible constructs, with a legal team – regardless of what the DOJ might be doing on the same legal matter. In essence, a mini-legislative DOJ branch that will fight the U.S. Dept of Justice if needed. (more on this in another section).
♦ Page #13 is the most interesting, and ties back to the Page #9 rule.
Here Speaker Pelosi sets up an internal House division of lawyers, paid with taxpayer funds, to defend Obamacare against any adverse action. In essence Pelosi is setting up her own Legislative Branch division of justice, to fight against the Executive Branch U.S. Department of Justice if needed.
The primary issue surrounds defending Obamacare from possible legal removal. However, it doesn’t take a deep political thinker to see where this approach ends up. It would be naive to think the Lawfare group (Benjamin Wittes) did not help create this new internal legal system.
Normally/traditionally House Counsel represents the interests of the entire Legislative Branch on any issue that might surface. However, Pelosi is setting up a legal activist agency within the House Counsel that will specifically “advocate” for Democrat priorities, against the position of the U.S. Department of Justice, and use taxpayer funds to finance the scheme.
Speaker Pelosi is creating her own mini DOJ (the Lawfare alliance) inside the legislative branch. And, with additional investigative powers granted to House committees, we might even see a mini-FBI units, dispatched to conduct investigations, accountable only to speaker Pelosi. Heck, considering congress already has subpoena power, there’s no telling where this might end.