Secretary of State Mike Pompeo today advised (actually schooled) the Democrats, explaining that current and former State Department officials will not testify before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs this week. Pompeo also complained that the committee’s letters (not subpoenas) appeared to be attempts to
intimidate, bully, and treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State.
The Secretary of State informed these House Democrats that he’s well aware of other letters sent to State Dept. employees outside the expected and “customary” method of communications, which is through the Bureau of Legislative Affairs.
Pompeo’s full letter explains how House Democrats (in their haste to unilaterally create and then ram articles of impeachment against President Trump through the House of Representatives) are
- violating the constitutional rights of those they want to testify (by denying them the right to have legal counsel present);
- failing to follow their own House procedures;
- improperly claiming authority to compel testimony absent subpoenas;
- refusing to give those requested to testify adequate time to prepare; and
- demanding of them State Dept. records that “are not theirs to produce,” records which may contain privileged and/or classified information (again, without subpoenas).
More outrageous, the letters threaten current and former officials with obstruction if they do not appear (voluntarily, because there are no legal subpoenas) on the artificially accelerated timeline that is unilaterally imposed by House Democrats.
Make no mistake. This has been planned for a long, long time. House Democrats are using 6 Democrat members of the House, who head these various committees, to overturn the will of the more than 63 million people who voted to elect President Donald J. Trump.
So much for the Democrats’ professed claims to value democracy, fairness, and equality. Republicans and all the citizens whom they represent are totally disenfranchised by this “impeachment inquiry” sham.
If an impeachment inquiry is analogous to a grand jury, which hands down indictments, then this inquiry being unilaterally run by Democrats, much of it in secret without the input of even one Republican, is like having to go before a grand jury that’s been deliberately stacked with people who hate your guts and already believe you’re guilty before they hear even one word of testimony or consider one piece of evidence.
Because of the secrecy involved (on the excuse of protecting the whistleblower’s identity), nobody will ever know what happened during the alleged testimony and there’s nobody but Democrats to oversee the process.
The Democrats will, without doubt, try to charge the President and anybody from his administration that gets in their way with obstruction of Congress and contempt of Congress. In particular, they’ll go for “inherent contempt:”
Under this process, the procedure for holding a person in contempt involves only the chamber concerned. Following a contempt citation, the person cited is arrested by the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House or Senate, brought to the floor of the chamber, held to answer charges by the presiding officer, and then subjected to punishment as the chamber may dictate (usually imprisonment for punishment, imprisonment for coercion, or release from the contempt citation).
You can read more about it here to see how this “advice” from (where else?) an NBC/MSNBC “legal analyst” helpfully laid it all out for them just a few weeks before the alleged whistleblower’s complaint allegedly was made.
Is there even a whistleblower or is he a composite character, like those in Barack Obama’s fictional autobiography, with the complaint written by a committee of anonymous partisans?
The only fly in the “inherent contempt” ointment is this:
Following the refusal of a witness to produce documents or to testify, the Committee is entitled to report a resolution of contempt to its parent chamber. A Committee may also cite a person for contempt but not immediately report the resolution to the floor. In the case of subcommittees, they report the resolution of contempt to the full Committee, which then has the option of rejecting it, accepting it but not reporting it to the floor, or accepting it and reporting it to the floor of the chamber for action. On the floor of the House or the Senate, the reported resolution is considered privileged and, if the resolution of contempt is passed, the chamber has several options to enforce its mandate.
Now, I’m no lawyer but I read this to mean that the full House (the chamber) enforces the “mandate” and only after having passed the resolution of contempt.
Only a lawyer would be able to tell us whether these conditions will have been met regarding House subpoenas, should any actually be issued:
As announced in Wilkinson v. United States, a Congressional committee must meet three requirements for its subpoenas to be “legally sufficient.”
First, the committee’s investigation of the broad subject area must be authorized by its chamber; second, the investigation must pursue “a valid legislative purpose” but does not need to involve legislation and does not need to specify the ultimate intent of Congress; and third, the specific inquiries must be pertinent to the subject matter area that has been authorized for investigation.
Are any subpoenas sent out by Pelosi’s Star Chamber legally sufficient? Has the chamber (i.e., the full House) authorized the investigation? Have the other conditions been met? Again, only a lawyer (or a judge, or the Supreme Court, perhaps) can enlighten us.
Keep in mind that House committees and subcommittees contain members from each political party. In the past, no single party has unilaterally tried to begin an impeachment inquiry and write articles of impeachment without any input from the opposing party. That would be un-American, anathema to our system of government, wouldn’t it?
Here are some interesting excerpts from Judge Gesell, in a decision during the Watergate scandal:
At this juncture in the so-called Watergate controversy, it is the responsibility of all three branches of the Federal Government to insure that pertinent facts are brought to light, that indictments are fairly and promptly tried, and that any accusations involving the conduct of the President or others are considered in a dignified manner and dealt with in accordance with established constitutional processes. …
That the President himself may be under suspicion does not alter this fact, for he no less than any other citizen is entitled to fair treatment and the presumption of innocence. …
To be sure, the truth can only emerge from full disclosure. A country’s quality is best measured by the integrity of its judicial processes. Experience and tradition teach that facts surrounding allegations of criminal conduct should be developed in an orderly fashion during adversary proceedings before neutral fact finders, so that not only the truth but the whole truth emerges and the rights of those involved are fully protected.
It is not fair or dignified to hear the head of the impeachment inquiry parodying the telephone conversation at the heart of the accusations against President Trump, instead of simply reading the transcript of the call.
It is certainly not fair and constitutional, in my opinion, to exclude the entire Republican party from the inquiry, thus disenfranchising half, if not more, of the American people from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Star Chamber.
And it’s certainly not fair to change the rules of the whistleblower complaint procedure after the fact, in order to very suspiciously shoehorn second-hand, unverified gossip and innuendo masquerading as an “urgent” concern into the intelligence community whistleblower process. (Pay particular attention to the timeline of events recounted in this story.)
There is no fair treatment of the accused or public “full disclosure” when an anonymous “whistleblower” is allowed to testify in secret, before only enemies of the President (hardly neutral fact finders), about allegations and accusations made against the President (some already debunked), allegedly made to him by other anonymous, alleged government officials. Are the President’s rights being protected here? Hardly. Will the whole truth emerge from this Star Chamber process? Highly unlikely. The “jury” is rigged.
Remember the ratio:
6 Democrat House members / more than 63,000,000 U.S. voters.
President Trump wrote today:
As I learn more and more each day, I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP, intended to take away the Power of the People, their VOTE, their Freedoms, their Second Amendment, Religion, Military, Border Wall, and their God-given rights as a Citizen of The United States of America!
Looks that way to a lot of us, Mr. President.