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Ex-prosecutor slams Congress for not jailing subpoena violators in the Trump administration: ‘It’s incomprehensible’

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House Democrats have been blocked at every turn from their lawful oversight functions as President Donald Trump’s administration directs its members to ignore subpoenas for information on a variety of topics, from the Russia investigation to the census.

On Thursday, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner castigated Democrats for their unwillingness to use their biggest weapon in the subpoena fight: inherent contempt.

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Inherent contempt” is a power distinct from and more drastic than a vote to declare contempt of Congress, which would not lead to criminal charges unless the Department of Justice decided to pursue the matter. In inherent contempt, Congress can direct the sergeant-at-arms to bring people in for questioning, and detain them in the Capitol building until they comply with congressional directives. This power has not been used since 1935, and it is clearly intended to be a last resort.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has acknowledged this power exists, saying, “We do have a little jail down in the basement.” However, Democrats do not presently appear to have any plans to invoke it, preferring instead to litigate the matter in federal court.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump’s racist attacks on ‘The Squad’ were the final straw for Anthony Scaramucci

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Donald Trump's racist attacks members of The Squad were what drove him to fight against the president's 2020 re-election.

The Squad is made up of four first-term women of color in Congress, including Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

Scaramucci made the admission in a new Washington Post op-ed.

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Maddow warns of Donald Trump causing massive gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia outbreak

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The host of MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" warned of the Trump administration causing a widespread outbreak of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

"But here’s a story that just broke this afternoon that I think is likely to have pretty profound consequences all over the country. And one of the reasons we know that -- or at least we have reason to suspect that -- is because we’ve already seen a few little case studies about how exactly this is going to go wrong, because there are a few states that sort of beat the rest of the country to the punchline on this one," Maddow explained.

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President vows he won’t build a Trump Tower Greenland

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