by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In the coming days, you’re going to hear members of Congress outraged at the White House defiance of a coequal branch of government. They will argue that the refusal to comply with demands amounts to a coverup of a crime, a violation of the Constitution, and that resisting officials like the attorney general “knows the answers are there because he’s the one who has the documents that contain the answers we’re looking for. He’s the gatekeeper here, and if he won’t give us the information this institution needs to do our duty, our constitutional duty, then we will use every legal and constitutional tool that we have to get to it.”
You’re going to hear members of the president’s party declare that “this is a witch hunt, pure and simple, Mr. Speaker, and it has no place in this House.” They will howl that the fight “is about politics” and the opposition “doing whatever it takes to attack the administration, no matter the issue, no matter the cost.”
Members of the president’s party will contend that perhaps the fight is the point, that the outcome matters less to the House majority leaders than assuring their base that they’re fighting the president with everything they’ve got …
… And in the end, it will all result in the House finding Eric Holder in contempt.
Oh, I was talking about former attorney general Eric Holder’s refusal to turn over documents to Congress about Fast and Furious back in 2012; what did you think I was talking about?
The thing is, back then a lot of folks seemed to think Holder had the right to refuse to turn over those documents, and that the subpoenas were somehow illegitimate or unlawful because of what they claimed was blatant partisanship and bad faith demonstrated by the Congressional majority.