Former Rep. Liz Holtzman served in Congress on the Judiciary Committee when the House voted to impeach President Richard Nixon.
President Donald Trump is attempting to claim executive privilege over documents and testimony from the White House requested by Congress. Holtzman explained that Nixon attempted to do something similar, saying that the information the special counsel sought from him was about “national security.” In that case the courts rejected Nixon. Congress then sought what they are seeking now, but went about it a whole different way.
“So what we did, we didn’t bring contempt proceedings,” Holtzman said. “One of the articles of impeachment, the third article of impeachment was the president’s actions to obstruct the impeachment by refusing to turn over materials.”
She went on to highlight that the coverup in the Watergate scandal was what ultimately sunk Nixon. It could in this case as well. As special counsel Robert Mueller pointed out in his report, there were ultimately at least 10 examples of obstruction. Trump’s coverup could be what brings him down.
“The coverup of the abuses of power and the coverup with the impeachment,” Holtzman explained. “The wholesale refusal of the president in this case to turn over a single document, a single document to the House Judiciary Committee, which is looking at the Mueller report is just thumbing his nose at the Constitution, at the rule of law he’s saying, ‘You know, I’m the king, you want to do something about it. Try.'”
Congress can hold contempt proceedings for Attorney General Bill Barr but they haven’t thrown anyone in jail for contempt in about 100 years, she explained. Instead, she encouraged Congress to “clean out the rats, get clean sheets” and make sure people understand people might actually go to jail.
“So Congress has that power,” she said. “Although I’m sure that will be tested in the courts, the courts will deal with it. The issue is for the American people. If they see that what the president of the United States is doing is covering up trying to force Congress from seeing the witnesses, keep Congress from getting the documents, keep the American people from seeing the witnesses, from reading the documents, from hearing about the documents — the American people see this as coverup, Trump’s goose is cooked. That’s how this has to be presented.”
Watch her comments below:
‘Size always matters to this president’: MSNBC contributor shreds Trump for obsessing over his own emotional needs
MSNBC's Eugene Robinson ridiculed President Donald Trump's obsession with his persistent unpopularity, which distracts him from his basic duties as chief executive.
The Washington Post columnist and "Morning Joe" contributor bashed the president for attempting to justify his narrow election win nearly three years ago instead of growing into his job, and he said that disconnect was "insane."
"Size always matters to this president," Robinson said, "and he's completely obsessed with this idea because it's true that he won a very narrow electoral victory and lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, and this drives him crazy and will continue to drive him crazy."
Japan’s Hirohito ‘prevented from voicing remorse over war’
Japan's wartime emperor Hirohito wanted to express his regret and remorse shortly after World War II but the prime minister at the time stopped him, local media reported Tuesday, citing newly disclosed documents.
The 18 notebooks, written by Michiji Tajima, a top official at the Imperial Household Agency, featured dialogue between him and Hirohito between 1949 and 1953.
According to the documents, the emperor said in 1952: "No matter what, I really think I need to include the word remorse" in his planned speech to mark Japan's regaining of its independence later that year.
Hong Kong leader hopes peaceful rally presages ‘return to calm’
Hong Kong's embattled leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday said she hoped "calm" will prevail after a massive weekend march passed without clashes between police and demonstrators, but again refused to give ground to protester demands.
Hundreds of thousands of people marched through the heart of the city on Sunday in a show of peaceful protest after escalating street battles with police drew stark warnings from Beijing and threatened to undermine public support.
"On Sunday, many Hong Kong residents participated in a rally at Victoria Park that was largely peaceful," Chief Executive Carrie Lam said at a televised press conference.