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George Conway and Neal Katyal demolish Trump’s latest effort to claim tyrannical power

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Conservative lawyer George Conway — who happens to be married to White House counselor Kellyanne Conway — teamed up with former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal on Wednesday in an op-ed denouncing President Donald Trump’s latest claim to have tyrant-like powers.

They took issue with Trump’s response to the congressional investigation of his finances. In a new court filing this week, Trump’s lawyers submitted an argument claiming that Congress doesn’t have the authority to investigate crimes. They argued that the executive branch — which, of course, is led by Trump — is the only branch that can investigate crimes.

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This argument, Katyal and Conway said, showed “contempt toward the most foundational precept of our democracy — that no person, not even the president, is above the law.”

They continued: “Congress investigates lawbreaking, and potential lawbreaking, all the time. Mobsters, fraudsters, government employees, small companies, big companies — like it or not, all types of people and businesses get subpoenaed from time to time, so that Congress can figure out whether current laws are effective, whether new laws are needed, whether sufficient governmental resources are being devoted to the task, whether more disclosure to the government or the public is required, or greater penalties, and so on.”

Trump’s lawyers argued that this claim would pose virtually no limits on Congress’s investigatory power. But indeed, Congress’s investigatory authority is vast, reined in by the fact that lawmakers are accountable to the voters.

“England’s King George III was above the law, but the founders of our republic wanted a system that would divide power and have the branches check each other,” they explained. “The idea that only the president can investigate the president is an argument for autocrats, not Americans.”

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They also noted that Trump’s lawyers seem to offer a “grudging” admission that impeachment expands Congress’s investigatory authority, but even this is “only half-right.”

“Yes, Congress could investigate Trump’s finances in an impeachment proceeding, but it can do so without launching the formal process of impeachment,” they wrote. Nevertheless, Katyal and Conway see the argument as a virtual invitation to start impeachment anyway, which was justified by the Mueller report regardless.

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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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Longtime Susan Collins voters say they’ll ‘never vote’ for the GOP senator again — thanks to Trump

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Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has regularly cruised to reelection in her state by working as a bipartisan consensus builder.

Collins' image as a moderate Republican has taken a massive hit during President Donald Trump's first term, however, and some longtime Collins voters tell Bloomberg that they are absolutely finished with her and will vote her out in 2020.

72-year-old Donna Sawyer, a longtime Collins voter from Limington, tells Bloomberg that Collins' vote for Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh was what finally pushed her over the edge.

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Ted Cruz jokingly predicted Trump would ‘nuke Denmark’ during 2016 primary

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On Wednesday, Gizmodo unearthed a clip from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) when he was running against Donald Trump in the 2016 GOP presidential primary, and one of the tongue-in-cheek warnings he made about the future president was particularly eye-opening.

"I wake up every day and laugh at the latest thing Donald has tweeted, because he's losing it," said Cruz. "But we need a commander in chief, not a Twitterer in chief. We need someone with judgment and the temperament to keep this country safe. I don’t know anyone who would be comfortable with someone who behaves this way having his finger on the button."

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Rudy Giuliani accuses majority of US Jews of ‘disloyalty to Israel’ — and gets torn to pieces

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Rudy Giuliani appears on Fox News Sunday (Fox News/screen grab)

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday tried to clean up President Donald Trump's declaration that "any Jewish people" who vote for Democrats have "a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty."

Writing on Twitter, Giuliani explained that Trump wasn't saying Jewish Democrats were disloyal to America -- rather, he was saying they were being disloyal to Israel.

"Really disappointed a rep of ADL would feign confusion about [Trump's] statement," Giuliani said. "POTUS is referring to disloyalty to Israel."

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