Out of his hands

The Daily News on House Oversight Committee subpoenas

April 25

Give Donald Trump some credit: While congressional Democrats twist themselves in knots over whether to open up impeachment hearings, he provides more ammunition.

Just this week, the White House told the House Judiciary Committee that it would not make former White House Counsel Don McGahn — a key figure in the Mueller report’s obstruction of justice section — available for a hearing, asserting executive privilege, even though privilege was waived during the Mueller probe.

The White House also told Carl Kline, former official in charge of security clearances, to ignore a House Oversight Committee subpoena.

On Wednesday, Trump declared he would broadly encourage rejecting all House subpoenas, while saying, in the same breath, “I have been the most transparent president and administration in the history of our country by far.” Oh, also in the week, this administration again rejected requests for Trump’s tax returns.

All of this is unacceptable.

The third article of impeachment drafted against Richard Nixon was his refusal to respond to legitimate House subpoenas (for the White House tapes).

Trump, meanwhile, tweets out contempt for the whole process:

“If the partisan Dems ever tried to Impeach, I would first head to the U.S. Supreme Court. Not only……are there no “High Crimes and Misdemeanors,” there are no Crimes by me at all.”

Not quite. He can’t run to the Supreme Court to get the justices to call off impeachment. It’s a process the Constitution clearly leaves in the hands of the legislative branch. The only role for the court is that the chief justice presides over a Senate trial, if it comes to that.

More importantly, Trump may not like it, but the definition of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” is up to Congress to decide, which includes things like Trump’s outright contempt of legislative oversight.