Editor's note: Portions of this column were taken from a Reuters news report but lacked proper attribution.
Ever since the Mueller report failed to deliver the Wagyu beef dinner the Democratic National Committee, the U.S. House Democrats, the U.S. Senate Democrats, the “resistance” movement and obstructive, left-leaning media wanted, all hell and chaos has broken out. And six Democratic-controlled House committees have sought to continue to investigate and delegitimize the duly elected 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.
Democratic partisan hacks masquerading as public intellectuals have similarly rediscovered the virtues of their legislative powers, touting the importance of Congress as a co-equal branch of government.
There is one problem here, folks: Congress is not co-equal. It is, in fact, superior.
The framers of the U.S. Constitution envisioned a country in which no single person or group could hold too much power. As a result, the Constitution established three branches of government: legislative, executive and judicial. Each branch is separate and has its own responsibilities.
Each branch can check the power of the others.
Despite its imperfections, this system of checks and balances is considered the most effective model of government in world history.
Congress and only Congress has the sole power to legislate for the United States — not the judiciary, not the president and not the federal agencies.
During the past 40 years, Congress has given some of that authority away to departments to “write” their own “administrative rules.” Congress should not have done so.
Congress is very powerful. How powerful? We shall see in the coming months as this three-ring circus plays out.
Does Congress have power via the Constitution to subpoena?
(Editor's note: The following italicized material was reported by Jan Wolfe of Reuters:)
What is a subpoena? A subpoena is a legally enforceable demand for documents, data, or witness testimony. Subpoenas are typically used by litigants in court cases.
The Supreme Court has recognized Congress’ power to issue subpoenas, saying in order to write laws it also needs to be able to investigate.
Congress’ power to issue subpoenas, while broad, is not unlimited. The high court has said Congress is not a law enforcement agency and cannot investigate someone purely to expose wrongdoing or damaging information about him for political gain. A subpoena must potentially further some “legitimate legislative purpose,” the court has said.
What can Congress do to a government official who ignores one?
If lawmakers, like the current clown posse in charge of Congress, wants to punish someone who ignores a congressional subpoena, they typically first hold the offender “in contempt of Congress,” legal experts said. This is just what happened to President Barack Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, was for withholding “Fast and Furious” documents.
The contempt process can start in either the House or the Senate.
It won’t happen in the Senate.
Unlike legislation, it only takes one of the chambers to make and enforce a contempt citation.
Typically, members of the congressional committee that issued the subpoena will vote on whether to move forward with a contempt finding. Here, it will be a party line vote.
If a majority supports the resolution, then another vote will be held by the entire chamber.
The Democrats have majority control of the House. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party holds the Senate.
Only a majority of the 435-member House needs to support a contempt finding for one to be reached. After a contempt vote, Congress has powers to enforce a subpoena.
How is a contempt finding enforced?
In 1821, the Supreme Court said Congress has “inherent authority” to arrest and detain recalcitrant witnesses. The president?
Wrong. That’s the judicial branch legislating.
Alternatively, Congress can ask the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, a federal prosecutor, to bring criminal charges against a witness who refuses to appear. There is a criminal law that specifically prohibits flouting a congressional subpoena.
These blanketed subpoenas want Trump’s taxes, bank records, communications with his previous accountants, financial records, documents and communications with family members, old business associates and businesses prior to legitimately winning the position of president.
This is unheard of and unprecedented.
These are hundreds of illegitimate subpoenas.
There is no authority in the Constitution to give Congress the power to issue subpoenas. Nowhere are investigative or subpoena powers listed, either.
So, is it obstruction of Congress or obstruction of justice to ignore them?
This is merely a political dispute between the hate-Trump Congress and Trump.
Why? To what end? Hopefully, it will help him be re-elected.
Two and a half years into his term and they are still obstructing, still not legislating as they were hired to do and still trying to overturn an election that your candidate, Hillary Clinton, hired a foreign spy and Russians to change or attempt to change, not the other way around.
This scandal involves the Obama Department of Justice, the FBI, the National Security Agency, the State Department, the DNC and many more, all complicit in a coup.
Who is subpoenaing the people issuing the subpoenas?
Who’s investigating the investigators?
We should be.
Be assured that Attorney General William Barr will.
Hang em’ high, boys.
Sayre of Lewiston served as regional director to former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig. His email address is email@example.com.