Lawyers for the Trump Justice Department stunned a federal judge Tuesday by arguing courts in 1974 were wrong to approve the release of Watergate documents to Congress during the impeachment inquiry into President Richard Nixon.
According to Politico‘s Darren Samuelsohn, Justice Department attorney Elizabeth Shapiro said during a hearing that if the Watergate case came before the court today, there would be a “different result.”
“Wow, okay,” responded U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell. “The department is taking an extraordinary position in this case.”
DEVELOPING Trump Justice Dept. asks U.S. judge to reject House Judiciary Committee request for Mueller grand jury materials, argues courts in 1974 wrongly gave Congress the Watergate grand jury 'roadmap' that led to President Nixon's impeachment.
— Spencer Hsu (@hsu_spencer) October 8, 2019
"Wow, O.K.," responded U.S. Chief District Judge Beryl A. Howell of Washington, D.C., sounding unpersuaded. "As I said, the department is taking an extraordinary position in this case."
— Spencer Hsu (@hsu_spencer) October 8, 2019
The exchange came during arguments on the House Judiciary Committee’s subpoena for the grand jury evidence behind former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.
Observers on social media echoed Judge Howell’s stunned reaction to the Justice Department’s argument.
“You know you’re on the wrong side of history—and the law—when you’re arguing that Nixon turned over too many documents,” tweeted Chris Yu, fellow at the Miller Center.
Others piled on:
Literally relitigating Watergate! https://t.co/NZhYFQxKQV
— Dan Froomkin (@froomkin) October 8, 2019
The DOJ has been diminished to arguing that Nixon’s impeachment inquiry was illegal in order to protect Trump. https://t.co/yxdyESuxEi
— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) October 8, 2019
Shorter version: Trump admin argues in court that Nixon was treated SO unfairly. https://t.co/D3z4ZDiopb
— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) October 8, 2019
Politico reported that attorneys for the Justice Department said House Democrats “should be denied access to the Mueller grand jury materials, arguing that a congressional impeachment proceeding doesn’t meet the criteria to release them.”
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement following Tuesday’s hearing that he is “confident” in Democrats’ case.
“We are gratified at the seriousness with which the court addressed our petition for grand jury information relating to the House impeachment inquiry,” said Nadler. “We remain confident in our case and look forward to the resolution of this matter.”
Black former Liberty University staffer says it felt like the ‘1950s or 1960s’ during his time at the school
After Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. mocked Virginia Governor Ralph Northam by donning a mask that featured the picture from Northam’s medical college yearbook allegedly showing him in blackface, several Black staff members and athletes left the evangelical college in protest.
Speaking on MSNBC this Tuesday, former Liberty staffer Keyvon Scott said that he left the school because he felt there was no place for him there anymore.
Trump stares blankly at mass death — and reveals just how out of touch he truly is
On Feb. 4, 1992, George Herbert Walker Bush was campaigning for reelection at the National Grocers Association convention in Orlando. There, the president “grabbed a quart of milk, a light bulb and a bag of candy and ran them over an electronic scanner,” wrote Times correspondent Andrew Rosenthal. “The look of wonder flickered across his face again as he saw the item and price registered on the cash register screen.”
“This is for checking out?” asked Mr. Bush. “I just took a tour through the exhibits here,” he told the grocers later. “Amazed by some of the technology.”
Republicans have a fight on their hands: ‘Trump is losing and the Senate is leaning towards Democrats’
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell breathed a sigh of relief after controversial former Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach lost his state's Republican primary for the U.S. Senate.
The McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund had invested $2.1 million to boost Rep. Roger Marshall, who won the primary and will face off against Democratic state Sen. Barbara Bollier, but the majority leader's intervention shows the challenge he faces in holding onto his own job, reported NPR.