One of the lesser-known names on the new list of lawyers President Donald Trump approved to defend him during the Senate impeachment trial delivered a damning remark last month – damning for President Trump, that is.
“Contempt of Congress is illegal,” said Robert Ray, who served as the final Whitewater independent counsel after Ken Starr.
The Washington Post’s Paul Waldman and Greg Sargent report Ray made the stunning remark – one of the Articles of Impeachment essentially is contempt of Congress, or technically, obstruction of Congress – to The Daily Signal, a right wing website run by the conservative Heritage Foundation.
The Senate could force Hunter Biden and others to testify or face prosecution for contempt of Congress, said former independent counsel Robert Ray, who was involved in the investigation that led to Clinton’s impeachment.
“The Senate has the power to compel witnesses. So, subpoenas would be enforceable. Contempt of Congress is illegal. I don’t know that they have the votes, as a political question,” Ray told The Daily Signal.
That’s problematic for Trump, given his attorney has said the actions for which he is being charged are illegal.
Also problematic are these words: “No person is above the law, even the president of the United States.” Ray made that damning statement, as The New York Times reports, 20 years ago when Bill Clinton was the impeached president being tried by the Senate.
But if all that weren’t enough, proving just how bad a defense Ray has been spinning for Trump, his appearance on Fox News Business should have been an automatic “no” when Trump considered him.
On September 26, Ray told Maria Bartiromo there were not enough votes in the House, “yet,” to impeach Trump. Less than three months later Trump was impeached.
He also said, “impeachment to me is two things. You have to show both the high crime and misdemeanor, and you have to show an abuse of power.”
Trump was literally impeached for an abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Remember, Ray said “contempt of Congress is illegal,” and “you have to show an abuse of power.”
He seems to have been making the House’s arguments for them.
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January 6 Committee to Request Mike Pence Voluntarily Appear to Testify
The House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack will request former Vice President Mike Pence, whose life was under threat during the January 6 insurrection, to voluntarily testify before the Committee.
“I think you could expect” the Committee to request Pence’s testimony “before the month’s out,” Chairman Bennie Thompson told NPR Friday.
It would be the closest yet the Committee has been to Donald Trump.
“The vice president was put in a tough spot,” Thompson continued. “The President was putting a lot of pressure on him to break the law, and he stood fast,”
“And because of his respect for law, there were people who came to the Capitol a year ago wanting to hang him. And so, if for no other reason, our committee really needs to hear what are his opinions about what happened on January 6.”
Indeed, Trump supporters that day infamously chanted “hang Mike Pence,” had a noose and gallows outside Congress, and literally roamed the halls hunting him down, as this video from the second Trump impeachment shows:
“Mike Pence should do America a favor & cooperate,” former Pence Homeland Security and Counterterrorism advisor Olivia Troye said on Wednesday. “He should release the stark photos of the reality he faced on January 6 displaying what Trump & Trumpism really means for our democracy when a President is capable of inciting an attack against his own Vice President. “
Mo Brooks Tries to Weasel Out of Insurrection Lawsuit by Telling Judge He’s ‘Never Smoked Tobacco’ or Cheated
U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) is being sued by Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-CA) for his role in allegedly inciting the January 6 insurrection. Brooks infamously evaded being served by going to great lengths, resulting in forcing the process server to hand the papers to his wife at their home.
Brooks on January 6 spoke at Trump’s MAGA rally and told the estimated 12,000 attendees, “Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.” But Brooks was also the first member of Congress to announce he would vote to overturn the election. And in December Politico reported Brooks was “spearheading the long-shot push to overturn the election results in Congress,” and noted he had organized a “trio of White House meetings, which lasted over three hours and included roughly a dozen lawmakers.”
The Alabama Republican Congressman tried to get the Dept. of Justice to defend him, claiming his inciting thousands of loyal Trump cultists was a part of his job as a federal government employee. The DOJ disagreed and refused.
So now he is in court.
Brooks, who is an attorney, is reportedly representing himself.
Here’s what he told the judge on Wednesday in his defense, asking to be dismissed from the lawsuit, per Reuters’ legal affairs reporter Jan Wolfe.
“Brooks is 67 years old.”
“Brooks has never smoked tobacco. Brooks does not consume alcohol. Brooks has never experimented with or taken illegal drugs.”
“Brooks has never been arrested or convicted of any felonies or misdemeanors.”
“Brooks has never had a DUI, a reckless driving ticket, or even a speeding ticket.”
“Brooks has never had a motor vehicle wreck in which anyone claimed Brooks was at fault.”
“Brooks has been married 45 years. Brooks has always been faithful to his wife. Together they have raised four children, all of whom are married, none of whom have been divorced, all of whom are law-abiding, none of whom have been arrested for anything, all of whom have college degrees and jobs,” it says.
He concludes with one curious claim: “Brooks has a perfect ethics record…despite Democrats…having harassed Brooks with at least 38 ethics complaints.”
First Capitol Riot Hearing ‘Is Going to Be a Disastrous Day for Kevin McCarthy’: Politico Reporter
The first Capitol riot select committee hearing is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, and Politico reporter Rachel Bade predicted it would create major headaches for GOP leader Kevin McCarthy.
Specifically, Bade pointed to the fact McCarthy pulled all of his nominees out of the committee, which means that he will have no one to challenge the narrative that gets established.
“Tomorrow is going to be a disastrous day for McCarthy on both ends of the spectrum,” she said. “You are going to have men and women in uniform testifying about the violence they witnessed on January 6th. McCarthy is still sticking with Trump. That… is going to be tough for the party and tough for him. He decided to withdraw all his members from this committee, so he is not going to have anybody to push back on anything that is being said.”
Additionally, Bade said that the four far-right lawmakers who are planning to hold a press conference highlighting the alleged mistreatment of jailed Capitol rioters are also likely to create a public relations nightmare for McCarthy.
“These people were rioters. [They’re] calling them [political] prisoners now?” she said. “It’s going to be impossible for McCarthy.”
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