On Friday, an editorial in The New York Times ripped President Donald Trump over clashing with Congress on several occasions.
As calls for Trump’s impeachment grow, the president said that he will fight all subpoenas from House Democrats. The editorial explained that Trump’s administrations defiance for the rule of law is unprecedented.
“Mr. Trump is leaning heavily on executive privilege, the principle that the president and other senior officials have the right to confidential deliberations within the executive branch. But scholars say executive privilege is a tradition, not a law. Neither the phrase nor the concept appears in the Constitution. Even so, since the establishment of the presidency, all of its occupants have at some point claimed the implied prerogative as fundamental to the separation of powers,” the editorial board wrote.
They went on to say that the nation is in “uncharted territory.”
“While executive privilege is a common presidential tool, historians note that Mr. Trump’s usage is decidedly uncommon, if not unprecedented. Unlike his predecessors, who invoked the privilege in specific cases, Mr. Trump has vowed that he will not cooperate with any congressional inquiry. He is effectively declaring lawmakers powerless over him. This, warn the experts, puts the nation in uncharted territory and threatens to erode its democratic foundations,” they said.
The editorial then explained what Democrats must do to hold the White House accountable for their actions.
“House Democrats are moving to hold those who ignore subpoenas in contempt of Congress — a process that Speaker Nancy Pelosi presciently streamlined shortly after assuming control by giving the power to pursue legal action against noncompliant witnesses to a bipartisan panel of five members,” they wrote.
“Presidents clash with Congress, at times fiercely. The founders wanted it that way. But in declaring war on congressional oversight, Mr. Trump is not looking to maintain a balance of powers. He is looking to blow up the scales,” they wrote.
Read the full editorial here.