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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

After the House Judiciary Committee voted on Wednesday to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress — a historic step — committee chair Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) spoke to reporters and made clear the matter wasn’t a petty dispute. Barr and the Trump administration’s refusal to comply with Congressional requests are straining the country’s form of governance, he argued.

“We’ve talked for a long time about approaching a constitutional crisis,” he said. “We’re now in it.”

Nadler added: “Now is the time of testing whether we can keep a republic, or whether this republic is destined to change into a different, more tyrannical form of govt. We must resist this.”

The inter-branch conflict has centered on the committees in the House — which is controlled by the Democrats — and their requests for information from the administration. Nadler said that President Donald Trump had refused to hand over a single sheet of paper that has been requested, and the president has declared publicly that the executive branch will resist all subpoenas.

This is a radical departure from past practice. While administrations have always found ways to resist some oversight, they do not outright refuse all requests from Congress and undermine its role as a check on the executive. These conflicts will inevitably end up in court, where the strength of the constitutional system will further be tested.

Watch the clip of Nadler’s comments below:

 

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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