Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., blasted President Donald Trump on Thursday for refusing to cooperate with various Democratic-led congressional inquiries into his administration. “You cannot have a democratic government … if the executive denies all information,” he told PBS NewsHour anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff, suggesting that backing down from a fight would be giving in to a “tyrannical administration.”
“We are in a constitutional crisis because of the administration’s contempt for law, and their refusal to obey the law,” Nadler said, mentioning the Trump administration’s refusal to deliver the president’s tax returns to a House committee, as well as the decision “to defy all subpoenas from the House.”
Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, said the Trump administration has “turned the Justice Department, who is supposed to enforce the law, into an agency for defying the law, as the personal property of the president.”
On Wednesday, the committee voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, in reaction to a Justice Department decision to withhold the full, unredacted Mueller report from lawmakers. The White House also announced it is invoking executive privilege over the report. Any ensuing legal fight between Trump and House Democrats could drag out for months or years.
But Nadler on Thursday expressed confidence that the courts would not favor Trump in the anticipated standoff over the balance of power in government, and predicted that Congress’ authority to compel information would be upheld, saying “the law is quite clear.”
Nadler said he hoped the outcome would be “a swift court order with compulsion behind it.”
“There’s no question legally we’ll win,” he told Woodruff. “The question is how long it will take.”