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Will House Have Chutzpah To Use Congressional Power To FORCE Mayorkas’s Subpoena Compliance?

There's a card in their hand the GOP can still play... if they've got the guts to turn it

The whole point of a system of checks-and-balances was to reign in anyone who decides to go rogue — including key players of the Executive branch.

The ‘if men were angels’ passage in the Federalist Papers gives some insight into where the Framers’ heads were at in devising a system that could not easily be hijacked by a handful of corrupt politicians with an agenda at odds with the will of the people.

Mayorkas is now openly mocking the same Congressional authority he has sent Republicans to prison for defying. Scratch that — the authority he is defying is MORE egregious for two reasons. One, there is uncontested legitimate oversight purpose of the subpoena (which is not true of the J6 Committee that issued subpoenas to Bannon and Navarro. Two, there is no justifiable claim of Executive Privilege in Biden’s case, since a conversation with an investigator that elected NOT to prosecute a sitting president for what would otherwise be an acknowledged felony is NOT subject to executive privilege. Especially after an inaccurate transcript has been supplied to Congress. More to the point, such tapes are exactly the kind of information an impeachment inquiry would WANT to take an interest in, although unresolved questions privilege of executive privilege were precisely the reason Bannon and Navarro objected to the subpoenas they had been sent.

It should surprise nobody that Biden’s DOJ — who is already looking sketchy for alleged backchannel conversations with both the Trump prosecution teams and the Hunter Biden legal team — declined to charge Mayorkas for Congempt.

The crap-eating grin on Democrat faces when he announced that would suggest that’s where the story ends. But it might not be the case.

Kash Patel, among others, remind us that the Executive Branch isn’t the only one with the Constitutional authority to enforce its will on those who would mock its use of legitimate powers.

“Merrick Garland said, ‘No, I’m not going to comply [with the subpoena]. I’m going to break the law,'” Patel said on the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show.
“Then Congress under that authority granted to them by statute can have the sergeant at arms go and arrest Merrick Garland, and can hold him in detention until he complies, just like DOJ would do to anyone else who violates a subpoena,” he continued.
The House has “inherent power to commit for contempt by detaining the witness in the custody of the Sergeant-at-Arms,” according to House rules. — JustTheNews

The Sergeant-at-Arms is hardly a household name, but the use of such powers is not without precedent… or legitimacy.

Here is an explanation put forward when Dems were contemplating the use of such powers against Bill Barr:

Note, that they’ve already tried to use type one, but have been spurned by Mayorkas’s DOJ, over whom they have direct oversight… which is relevant to the conversation. Option two could take months (or longer) to work their way through the court system… effectively neutering Congressional oversight power into this Impeachment Inquiry. That brings us to door #3. The relevant parts have been highlighted in bold.

Based on precedent, statutes, and court rulings, the House and the Senate each have the power to invoke three types of contempt proceedings if a committee believes someone is obstructing its investigative powers.

The Congressional Research Service described each of these powers in a detailed March 2019 report. The first type of contempt power is a citation of criminal contempt of Congress. This power comes from a statute passed by Congress in 1857. Once a committee rules that an act of criminal contempt has occurred, the Speaker of the House or Senate President refers the matter to the appropriate U.S. attorney’s office, “whose duty it shall be to bring the matter before the grand jury for its action.” However, the Executive Branch in prior situations has claimed that it has the discretion to decide if a grand jury should be convened to hear the charges. But if the case goes to a grand jury, fines and a jail term could result from the ensuing criminal prosecution.

The second type of contempt power comes in the form of a civil lawsuit brought by the House or Senate, asking a court to enforce a subpoena. The Senate and its committees are authorized to bring such a lawsuit under a federal statute. There is no similar statute that applies in the House, but the federal district court in Washington, D.C. has decided that the House can nevertheless authorize its committees to bring a similar civil suit for enforcement of a subpoena. In either case, an executive branch member can contest the subpoena “based on a governmental privilege or objection the assertion of which has been authorized by the executive branch of the Federal Government,” the CRS said.

The third type of contempt power—Congress’s dormant inherent contempt power—is rarely used in modern times. Inherent contempt was the mode employed by Congress to directly enforce contempt rulings under its own constitutional authority until criminal and civil contempt statutes were passed, and it remained in use into the twentieth century. Under inherent contempt proceedings, the House or Senate has its Sergeant-At-Arms, or deputy, take a person into custody for proceedings to be held in Congress.

Although these powers are not directly stated in the Constitution, the Supreme Court has ruled on multiple occasions that they are implicit as an essential legislative power held by Congress. — ConstitutionCenter

If it was here being discussed in the context of a Trump administration, it could hardly be argued that this is some kind of an unprecedented crazy MAGA theory of law.

The question is… will the GOP have the gumption to stand up to Mayorkas’s smug lawlessness, or will they fold faster than a pup tent in a tornado?

With Anna Paulina Luna bringing the issue up, we’re about to find out.

Not to the GOP: it’s put up or shut up time.

Psalms of War: Prayers That Literally Kick Ass is a collection, from the book of Psalms, regarding how David rolled in prayer. I bet you haven’t heard these read, prayed, or sung in church against our formidable enemies — and therein lies the Church’s problem. We’re not using the spiritual weapons God gave us to waylay the powers of darkness. It might be time to dust them off and offer ‘em up if you’re truly concerned about the state of Christ’s Church and of our nation.

Also included in this book, Psalms of War, are reproductions of the author’s original art from his Biblical Badass Series of oil paintings.

This is a great gift for the prayer warriors. Real. Raw. Relevant.

Wes Walker

Wes Walker is the author of "Blueprint For a Government that Doesn't Suck". He has been lighting up since its inception in July of 2012. Follow on twitter: @Republicanuck