President Donald Trump continues to defy Congressional oversight, refusing to share his tax records, saying that he’ll won’t comply with subpoenas and calling investigations into his campaign’s links to Russia a hoax.
Writing in the Washington Post, conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin notes that Trump is also making a mockery of the judicial branch.
“President Trump is using the Justice Department in unprecedented, partisan ways and asserting ludicrously aggressive and unprecedented claims of executive power,” Rubin writes.
“The question is whether — in some cases, at least — the courts will stop him.”
She adds that after Attorney General William Barr’s mishandling of the Mueller report, the Justice Department has been hijacked for partisan purposes.
“The Justice Department these days is tool of partisan vengeance for this administration,” Rubin writes.
“Attorney General William P. Barr opened what is the third investigation into the origins of the Russia probe. (Hmm, Russia interfering with our election, maybe?) Not only do we know this from the hearings to date (George Papadopoulos was overheard talking about getting dirt from Russians on Hillary Clinton), but the notion that this was all a nefarious plot would mean that former deputy attorney general Rod J. Rosenstein (a Trump Republican appointee who signed off in FISA warrants) was in on it as well as three separate FISA judges and legions of career officials at Justice, the CIA and elsewhere in the intelligence community,” she adds.
“And the plot was so diabolical that they all kept the Trump campaign’s cozy relationship with Russians a secret throughout the election. The “theory” (more like a nonverbal impulse) of this noncase is preposterous. And yet Barr has assigned a prosecutor to it.”
Yet, Rubin has hopes that the courts will intervene and force Trump to comply with the rule of law. She notes that U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta seemed stunned that Trump’s lawyers are claiming Congress doesn’t have the authority to investigate potential corruption:
Is it your position that whether the president has properly reported his finances [under federal disclosure laws], that’s not subject to investigation by Congress?” Mehta asked.
Say a president was involved in some corrupt enterprise — you mean to tell me because he is the president of the United States, Congress would not have power to investigate?” Mehta asked, saying that what if “we’re talking about a presidential violation of a constitutional prohibition that only Congress has authority to approve,” such as the acceptance for emoluments or gifts from a foreign government.
Rubin notes that the outraged Judge might put a stop to Trump’s trampling of the check and balances of U.S. government.
“Finally, someone may stand up to Trump and stop him (even in one case) in his tracks.”