House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler admitted Sunday that the main reason House Democrats have been keeping impeachment-related issues out of the courts is that it would take too long.
Nadler spoke with CNN’s Dana Bash, who was guest-hosting “State of the Union” for Jake Tapper, about the most recent developments in the ongoing impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. (RELATED: Jerry Nadler Claims The Facts On Trump Impeachment Are ‘Undisputed’)
Bash pressed Nadler on the fact that House Democrats had not pushed harder to compel testimony from possible direct witnesses, such as White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former National Security Advisor John Bolton.
“But the Founders, who we heard a lot about in your committee last week, set up a third co-equal branch of government, the courts, to resolve differences like this but you have not tried to go to the courts to compel these witnesses to testify,” Bash began. “With something as grave and momentous as impeachment, why not?”
“Well first of all we have gone to the courts —” Nadler protested.
“Not on this issue,” Bash interrupted.
Nadler pushed back, saying that they had gone to the court over former White House counsel Don McGahn.
“But not on Ukraine and impeachment inquiry —” Bash responded.
“And what we have found is that the courts take months and months,” Nadler continued, arguing that Article 1 gave Congress the sole power of impeachment and that they shouldn’t be forced to rely on the courts.
“The president and the executive branch are duty-bound to cooperate with Congress in any legitimate inquiry and the president’s absolute failure to do so and defiance is an act against the separation of powers and against the constitutional scheme and shouldn’t require anything from the courts,” Nadler insisted, failing to address the fact that the White House has argued that the impeachment inquiry is illegitimate and has been using the court as a check against Congress for that reason. “Now the courts are a way to try to enforce this but much too slow of a way,” Nadler concluded.