This court case is the background to remove President Trump. Everything else, including the impeachment effort, is chaff and countermeasures. Conservatives are oblivious.
Today the DC Circuit Court heard oral arguments from House legal subcontractors representing lawmakers, in their attempt to unseal grand jury testimony and documents from the Mueller investigation. [Remember, the subcontracted lawyers were part of Nancy Pelosi’s changed House rules in 2018… These moments were all pre-planned.]
To give further indications of the landscape, U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr sent his weakest constitutional lawyers, Mark Freeman, Justice Department Civil Division Appellate Staff Director, and Deputy Asst Attorney General Hashim Mooppan to face-off against Douglas Letter, U.S. House of Representatives General Counsel, and approximately two dozen House contracted lawyers.
The hearing lasted for an hour and thirty-seven minutes. [Full Audio Here] The three panel judges are tackling the unprecedented attempt by House lawyers to gain access to the Mueller material.
During one segment of the hearing House Lawyer Douglas Letter discussed the serious possibility of sending armed House officers to the DOJ to engage in a gun battle with the Dept. of Justice if needed. Not joking – serious stuff:
Again, for those who were not paying attention, the creation of an armed House enforcement division was part of Nancy Pelosi’s new House rules in 2018.
Reminder, WARNING from 2018: “Speaker Pelosi is creating her own mini DOJ 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 and spy operations, accountable only to speaker Pelosi. Heck, considering congress already has subpoena power, there’s no telling where this might end.”
Democrats together with the alliance of Lawfare operative and their media allies know what this is all about. Republicans and conservative pundits (writ large) are oblivious to it; they don’t take it seriously…. keep watching, you’ll see how serious this is… the Tick Tock Club and Trusty Planners will catch up in a few weeks/months.
WASHINGTON DC – […] During back-to-back hearings spanning about three hours, the judges drilled in on the House Judiciary Committee’s dual quests to learn special counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury secrets and to secure testimony from Don McGahn, Trump’s former top White House lawyer. The two hearings were overseen by two partially overlapping, three-judge panels.
While the judges didn’t announce firm positions in the two cases, their pointed questions for both sides suggested the House had a stronger chance of prevailing in the grand jury records fight, with the outcome more uncertain in the McGahn battle. The two impeachment-related cases, being heard before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, are on something of a fast track that set them up as the court’s first public business for 2020.
The stakes couldn’t be higher. Trump’s ability to stave off a Senate conviction after last month’s House votes to impeach him is essential to his political survival. But court losses for the president in either or both cases argued Friday will help to keep the impeachment issue alive throughout 2020, while giving House Democrats their own boost in a consequential constitutional showdown with Trump’s Justice Department that ultimately appears headed to the Supreme Court.
“This is it,” Doug Letter, the lead House counsel, argued during the second half of Friday’s proceedings over the Mueller grand jury material. “There is nothing more important than determining whether the president of the United States should remain the president of the United States.”
Letter also argued that Trump shouldn’t rest easy just because the House has already voted to impeach the president over his efforts to pressure Ukraine leaders into investigating his political rivals. How the courts rule in the Democrats’ bid for more testimony and documents connected back to the Mueller probe into 2016 Russian election interference could still yield additional impeachment articles against Trump, he said.
“Yes, that is on the table. There’s no doubt,” Letter said, while also confirming to the judges that his remarks had sign off from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The historical significance of Friday’s arguments was apparent in pretty much every exchange before the D.C. Circuit panels, which were composed of two Republican presidential appointees and one judge named by a Democrat. For example, a GOP-appointed judge assigned to both cases, George W. Bush nominee Thomas Griffith, pressed the Justice Department over whether Trump’s blanket refusal to cooperate with House impeachment probes was an unprecedented act of contempt for the legislative branch.
[Judge] Rao seemed to accept that Howell could release the court’s veil of secrecy over the records, but she also suggested that forcing the executive branch to fork them over to Congress raised thornier questions.
That prompted Letter, the House counsel, to repeatedly raise the specter of Congress returning to use of force to enforce its subpoenas — a practice not attempted for nearly a century. But as the House lawyer spoke of the potential for such confrontations leading to violence, it appeared he was highlighting the dangers of such an approach rather than seriously suggesting returning to the coercive methods employed until the 1930s.
“I guess what we would do is use the main remedy the House has had from the beginning, we’ll send the sergeant-at-arms over to the Justice Department. I cannot imagine anyone is going to interfere with him doing his duty as an officer of the House,” Letter said.
When pressed by Rao about what would happen if the Justice Department refused to comply, the House counsel added: “We can send the sergeant-at-arms and he can have a gun battle.” (keep reading)
The House has a group of dozens of various DOJ and former Obama officials working on their behalf. That House network also has several currently employed DOJ, FBI, State Department and Intelligence Community officials feeding them information on current real-time events. The HJC are currently arguing the Mueller material and the McGahn testimony are needed for the impeachment trial of President Trump.
If the HJC team wins the argument to the three member DC Appellate Court, the DOJ will likely file for a full ‘en banc’ review by the entire panel. If the HJC wins the ‘en banc’ argument the DOJ will likely appeal for an administrative stay by the Supreme Court.
However, if the HJC team loses, they will most likely not file an appeal and will quickly release the impeachment articles to the Senate. The impeachment articles (Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress) are currently withheld in an effort to bolster the DC appeals court argument.
The primary goal is to gain the Mueller material; by design the impeachment process is a means toward that end. Impeachment is not the end; impeachment is the means to an end. Impeachment is the legal standing to exploit the Mueller material. [Background]