Virginia Democratic Congressman Gerry Connolly, who sits on the House Oversight Committee, practically dared President Donald Trump to continue stonewalling Congress, saying if the president wanted “war” he was more than happy to throw down the gauntlet.
“Do you foresee jail time? At what point does it come to that, and how do you do that?” asked host Brianna Keilar. “Normally when someone is held in contempt of Congress, the back stop is the Department of Justice, which you just pointed out is led by Attorney General Bill Barr, who you would not expect to be in your corner.”
“I don’t expect him to play fair or be a neutral arbiter,” said Connolly of Barr, who has been widely criticized for acting as the president’s puppet. “I don’t threaten anybody. I am simply pointing out Congress has immense powers and if you want to go to war with Congress, you do so at your own peril.”
“How do you do it without the Department of Justice,” pressed Keilar.
“First of all there is the issue of subpoenas. Then there is contempt of Congress citations,” Connolly said, who was just getting warmed up.
“Then there is going to court to insist on the enforcement of subpoenas,” he said. “And by the way, if you violate a court order, now you’re in criminal contempt of court and you can go to jail for that.”
“Incarceration can be in your future, either through the court system or in the extraordinary and not used for a while power of Congress,” Connolly continued. “Congress has the power, and the Supreme Court rulings in the past have upheld that power, to actually arrest and incarcerate individuals who don’t cooperate with lawful subpoenas issued by the Congress.”
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