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LISTEN: Trump Judge Asks House Why They Can’t Send Sergeant at Arms Into the DOJ With a Gun for Documents

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A strange exchange erupted between the U.S. House counsel and a federal judge appointed by Donald Trump Friday over the subpoenaed documents from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and the convened grand jury.

Trump has demanded none of his staff or appointees comply with Congressional subpoenas on impeachment and refuse to give documents requested by the committees. Understandably, the House took the case to court, appearing before Trump appointee Judge Neomi Rao.

Republicans have complained that Democrats are not following the procedure by holding an impeachment vote before the case can move through the courts to subpoena first-hand witnesses that Trump has blocked. Yet, Trump’s judge asked Congress why they were coming to the Judicial branch when they had other avenues of getting Trump to comply with the subpoenas.

The last available option to Congress, House General Counsel Doug Letter said, would be to dispatch the Sergeant at Arms to march into the Justice Department with guns blazing.

Letter: “That’s stunning. That’s just stunning. If this court rules that the House is entitled to this material, the Attorney General is going to say — no?”

Judge Rao: “I’m asking a hypothetical.”

Letter: “I guess what we would do is we would use the main remedy that the House has had from the beginning. We’ll send the Sergeant at Arms over to the Justice Department. I cannot imagine that anybody at the Justice Department is going to interfere with him doing his duty as an officer to the House. And he will pick up the grand jury materials, and he will bring them to the House.”

Judge Rao: “So you do have some methods of self-help that don’t require this court to intervein?”

Letter: “Absolutely. We can send the Sergeant at Arms, and he can go have a gun battle with –”

Judge Rao: “Why not avail yourself of that remedy?”

Letter: “The reason is obvious.”

Judge Rao: “Why is it obvious?”

“When was the last time that was done?” another voice can be heard asking but isn’t identified.

Letter: “That’s why — again, this was discussed in the first case — that’s why we don’t do that anymore. We don’t have the Sergeant at Arms go out and arrest people and have a gun battle with Mr. Barr’s FBI security detail. Instead, we go to court.”

Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner was in the courtroom for the exchange and explained that it isn’t often that discussion of two branches of government facing off in a gun battle is considered “light-hearted.”

“I don’t think it was intended to be serious, and it was really down in the weeds of a legal issue,” he explained. “If the court decided that these grand jury materials from the Mueller case can be sort of unsealed and available, that’s different from the court ordering the Department of Justice to turn them over. They seem like a difference without a distinction, but they are different things. So, I do think that Mr. Letter was surprised by the question because you have to believe if a federal appellate court orders that, ‘Yes, the House is entitled to these Mueller materials,’ then naturally the Department of Justice headed up by Bill Barr will simply turn them over.”

Kirschner said that given what Barr has done in the past, he’s not sure “it wasn’t actually a question with some consequences.”

Listen to the audio of the court discussion and the analysis by MSNBC in the video below:

 

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Trump Celebrates Fourth of July by Attacking His Enemies as Biden Hails the American ‘Idea’ of ‘Hope’

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President Joe Biden is celebrating Independence Day by promoting the American “idea” of “hope” while his predecessor, Donald Trump, is spending the Fourth of July by attacking his enemies and airing his grievances. Later today the President and First Lady will “host a Fourth of July BBQ with military families and deliver remarks to celebrate Independence Day,” according to the president’s official schedule.

Trump is celebrating the most patriotic day on the calendar by attacking his enemies, revisiting his impeachments, the Mueller Report, the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, falsely characterizing global challenges, and declaring, “it’s not looking good for our Country right now.”

President Biden on Monday declared on Twitter, “America is an idea.”

“An idea that is stronger than any army, bigger than any ocean, more powerful than any dictator or tyrant,” Biden said. “It gives hope to the most desperate people on Earth, it guarantees that everyone is treated with dignity and gives hate no safe harbor. It instills in every person in this country the belief that no matter where you start in life, there’s nothing you can’t achieve if you work at it.”

Banned from Twitter and Facebook, Trump posts on the social media platform he owns to his 3.4 million followers, a small fraction of the 88.9 million followers he amassed on Twitter.

“I know it’s not looking good for our Country right now,” Trump says on his Truth Social platform, adding a series of claims like there’s “a major War raging out of control in Europe, the Highest Inflation in memory, the worst 6 month Stock Market start in History, the highest Energy Prices EVER, and that is the Good News. Happy Fourth of July!!! ((Don’t worry, We will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, and remember, none of these terrible events would have happened if I were President!!!))”

He also criticizes the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack as a group of “political thugs,” spreads false information about his impeachments and the Mueller Report, while painting himself as a victim.

Trump targets Committee Vice-Chair Liz Cheney, declaring that she “keeps saying, over and over again, that HER Fake Unselect Committee may recommend CRIMINAL CHARGES against a President of the United States,” which she did this weekend.

 

Image: The Bidens watch the fireworks from the White House on July 4, 2021. Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz.

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‘Impeach Justice Clarence Thomas’: More Than One Million Signatures as Petition Goes Viral

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, like most federal judges, has an appointment for life, but the U.S. Congress has the right and ability to remove him through the impeachment process, and more than one million signatories to a petition that’s going viral are asking lawmakers to do just that.

“The right-wing rigged Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week, effectively taking away the right to privacy and bodily autonomy that’s been considered legal precedent for the past 50 years,” reads the Move On petition, which alleges the  most right-wing jurist on the nation’s top court “has shown he cannot be an impartial justice.”

“Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas—who sided with the majority on overturning Roe—made it clear what’s next: to overturn high court rulings that establish gay rights and contraception rights,” it adds.

RELATED: Clarence Thomas Rants Against SPLC’s ‘Hate Group’ Designation of Anti-LGBTQ Christian Church

The petition, which has been gaining 100,000 signatures daily, notes that Justice Thomas voted “against a Supreme Court decision to compel the release of Donald Trump’s records regarding the January 6 insurrection and attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.” It also points to “his wife—longtime conservative activist Ginni Thomas—was actively urging the White House to overturn election results both leading up to January 6 and after the deadly insurrection.”

Justice Thomas, the petition demands, “must resign—or Congress must immediately investigate and impeach.”

Some of those who have signed the petition offered their thoughts:

RELATED: ‘One of the Worst Breaches of Trust’: Clarence Thomas Is a ‘Corrupt Jurist’ Who Should Resign Says US Congressman

“The Supreme Court must be beyond reproach. Instead, they’re political pawns of a fascist right wing agenda.”

“He and his wife have an agenda, and the country will pay the price.”

“The overturning of women’s health, same sex and contraception rights is a huge impact on millions of women including myself. Why is a Judge like Clarence Thomas granted privilege to dictate women’s rights?”

“His inability to keep politics out of important Constitutional decisions has worsened, culminating with the repeal of Roe as case law, instantly turning US women into 2nd-class citizens who have no say over their own bodies.”

 

 

 

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‘The American People Are on Our Side’: Democrat Offers Idea to Save Women’s Freedoms

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Speaking to MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan on Sunday, Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY), a Harvard Law School graduate, explained that Congress could protect the freedoms of women and his plan doesn’t have anything to do with an attempt to overthrow the government.

“I knew that we would arrive at this point,” Jones explained. “My colleague scoffed at me at the time that I introduced the bill, in April of 2021. Of course, the American people are on our side, when you look at poll after poll. And thankfully, we do have about 58 House members who are supportive of adding four seats to the Supreme Court, but that is not nearly enough. We can’t pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, after getting rid of the filibuster, which we obviously need to do. But this Supreme Court has shown a willingness to strike down newly enacted laws by Congress. They did so with the decision after decision of the Voting Rights Act, which has been reauthorized nearly unanimously. I’m under no illusions anything short of court reform, specifically adding seats to the Supreme Court, is going to preserve fundamental rights permanently.”

He disputed President Joe Biden’s statement that adding seats to the court would be “polarizing.” Already, the American people have the lowest opinion level of the Supreme Court in history. Jones said that the more polarizing thing is the degradation of the most fundamental rights in America: personal freedoms.

“Whether it is the right to abortion, which is a 50-year-old Constitutional right, or of course, imminently, the right to contraception, and the right to marriage equality, and the right to same-sex intimacy,” Jones continued, citing key court decisions cited by Justice Clarence Thomas that he wants to see fall next.

Jones went on to say that one of his ideas with the new voting rights bill was to add a provision that would deprive the Supreme Court of jurisdiction to review the constitutionality and legality of the statute.

“We have seen that this supreme court majority, this far-right majority is hostile to democracy itself,” said Jones. “If we are to vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act for the second time this term, I am pushing to include a provision to deprive the Supreme Court of review of that statute. There is precedent for this, it has been done before, and it is a practice that has been upheld before. We know that most of the cases the Supreme Court decides, it is only able to decide because of the jurisdiction that Congress has explicitly legislated it to have. The Constitution is very narrow in terms of the scope of jurisdiction that it grants to the Supreme Court. We have tools at our disposal here.”

See the full conversation below:

 

Image by Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States via Wikimedia

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