New York Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler declared Wednesday, “We are now in a constitutional crisis” as he moved to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress.
House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) tells reporters, “We are now in a constitutional crisis.” pic.twitter.com/ZxgdJObpGM
— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) May 8, 2019
Nadler, who is the House Judiciary Committee chairman, suggested the United States was sliding into a “more tyrannical form of government” because Barr has refused to appear before the committee under terms that would have seen congressional staffers asking questions of the attorney general. The committee voted Wednesday to hold Barr in contempt of Congress. (RELATED: Nadler Claims Don Jr. Was Offered Stolen Information In Trump Tower Meeting. That Didn’t Happen)
“There can be no higher stakes than this attempt to abrogate all power to the executive branch away from Congress and, more importantly, the American people,” Nadler told reporters. “We talked for a long time about approaching a constitutional crisis; we’re now in it. We are now in a constitutional crisis.”
Nadler then digressed into an anecdote of founding father Benjamin Franklin being asked about what kind of government the Constitutional Convention was creating. Franklin responded that Americans had a republic.
“Now is the time of testing,” the congressman insisted, “whether we can keep a republic or whether that republic is destined to change into a different, more tyrannical form of government, as others have over the years.” (RELATED: Judiciary Chair Says Trump Is Guilty Of Obstruction. And He’s Thinking About Impeachment)
Nadler then suggested that he wasn’t issuing these grave warnings for partisan purposes but that the issue was “broader than Republican or Democrat” and “whether we can put limits on the power of the president, any president and the executive branch and hold the president, any president, accountable.”
President Donald Trump suggested the decision to hold the attorney general in contempt was all about partisan politics, retweeting Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy’s statement:
Democrats and Republicans should be working together to lower the cost of prescription drugs.
What are Democrats doing instead? Holding the Attorney General in contempt for NOT breaking the law.
It’s ABSURD. pic.twitter.com/0WS5zuSfCs
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) May 7, 2019