Democratic California Rep. Jackie Speier claimed during a Wednesday interview on CNN that President Donald Trump “has in many respects become a dictator.”
The comments came during a conversation surrounding the House Judiciary Committee’s vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt for failing to give the committee special counsel Robert Mueller’s full, un-redacted report.
“Does this really do anything in the end?” Brianna Keilar asked.
“Well, this is turning up the heat. There is no question that holding him in contempt will then throw it to the courts, and we will have to hope that that will be expedited,” Speier stated. “The Congress has the right to access the underlying documents of the Mueller report. There is no question about that. I cannot imagine a court ruling otherwise, but they are throwing every obstacle in our way because the president has, in many respects, become a dictator. He is trying to prevent Congress from doing its oversight function. And we won’t accept that.”
She continued, “If necessary, we can do what’s called inherent contempt which means we can call on the sergeant-of-arms to bring in Mr. Barr and have him appear before the full House and then either he testifies or he is fined.”
Keilar followed up, “Do you really see that as happening? We talked with legal experts who suggest that is not going to happen.” (RELATED: Nadler Schedules Vote To Hold Barr In Contempt Of Congress)
“Legally, we have the power to do that. We are using—,” Speier responded before being cut off.
“Should the House of Representatives do that?” Keilar asked.
“Well, I am one of those that believes we’re not getting the respect that we deserve as a co-equal branch of government until we act a little more aggressively in asserting our authority, which we have to access these documents. We have a right to know what the underlying documents have,” the lawmaker added. “I think the Attorney General should do his job.”
The committee voted along party lines, with 24 Democrats voting for Barr to be held in contempt of Congress.