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Dems Fight Trump Order

Schumer/Pelosi Obstruct Disclosure

By Wayne Jett © September 19, 2018

     After weeks of patient deference, President Trump on Monday ordered specific information contained in documents created by Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation employees to be disclosed to the public. Now four leaders of minority Democrats in the House and Senate have attempted to countermand the presidential order and prevent declassification of the information so the public may know its contents.

The Democrats’ Demands

     The Democrats’ two-page letter expresses alarm about the president’s disclosure order, but does not state a direct countermand. Finally they assert that the Director of National Intelligence, the Deputy Attorney General and the FBI Director “should not” proceed to carry out the president’s existing written order.

     The “should not” choice of words cleverly makes their statement appear that those officials have a duty to perform as stated, and ought to do it of their own accord, regardless of the president’s direct order. Schumer-Warner-Pelosi-Schiff encourage top federal intelligence and law enforcement officers to disobey a direct order of the nation’s top executive – the highest official elected by the people – on grounds those officers have a responsibility to do so. They cite no legal authority for their assertion; they appear to seek submission to the power and influence of their legislative positions.

     Indeed, the Schumer-Pelosi-Warner-Schiff squad go further by warning the DNI, DAG and FBI Director to refrain even from communicating with the White House regarding disclosures to be made until after they first brief Congress’ “Gang of Eight” on all aspects of any intended actions. This demand is very troublesome. The Senate and House minority is attempting to interfere directly with the prompt performance of executive branch duties regarding matters of national security governed by existing law.

The Political Motives

     As a tactical matter, the letter signed by S-P-W-S seeks to avoid public disclosure of politically embarrassing and potentially illegal conduct by intelligence and law enforcement officials during and after the outgoing Obama administration. They do not wish this information to become public when the mid-term elections are coming in less than two months.

     To obscure this concern, S-P-W-S state the presently redacted information should not be given to President Trump because it may relate to ongoing investigations of the president, his 2016 campaign or his associates.

     This argument for further delay of disclosure simply has no merit. The president has had repeated assurances that he is not under criminal investigation. Recent reports of testimony by FBI lawyer Lisa Page, believed to be a cooperating witness, indicate she attests no evidence of any crime by the president or his campaign had been found even after a year of digging by the special counsel Robert Mueller and his staff of lawyers and investigators.

     Do you like icing on cake? In 2009, the former president signed executive order 13526 prohibiting actions to prevent declassification of information for purposes of avoiding embarrassment to any person or agency, or when classification is not required in the interests of national security.

Separation of Powers

     The color of authority claimed by the S-P-W-S foursome based on their elective office does not shield them from penalties for violations of federal law. Neither a member of the Senate nor of the House, acting alone or jointly, has authority to intervene in the administration of national security laws.

     The letter to executive officials of the Trump presidential administration seeking to interdict declassification of information according to existing laws and regulations violates constitutional principles of separation of powers. Article I of the Constitution vests in Congress legislative power to pass laws. That is the extent of what S-P-W-S may lawfully undertake to do.

     Article II vests all executive power in the president. The president has exclusive authority over each executive department of government assigned to carry out duties under laws duly enacted by Congress, either with the president’s signature or by over-riding his veto. Clearly the Democrat letter attempts to countermand the president’s existing order to proceed expeditiously with disclosure protocols.

Coup Prospects Dim

     Overstepping constitutional authority is precisely the kind of charge Establishment operatives in Congress would love to level against President Trump. Democrats have been first to exceed their own authority, but with reliable support of fake news media, Schumer and Pelosi can accuse the president of doing so. They might even hope to leverage their complaint into an excuse for impeachment. Establishment operatives are desperate to do this, but their cause is both anti-democratic and hopeless.

    Establishment agents and their Deep State arm cannot expect to continue their attempt to overthrow the government chosen and supported by the American people. Laws have been enacted to prohibit and punish such conduct. Members of the Senate and House ought to be the first to understand the risks of acting as if laws apply to everyone else, but not to the elite few.