Listen: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Burns Trump’s Solicitor General During Landmark Tax Return Case
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg burned the Justice Department’s solicitor general during a hearing on President Donald Trump’s tax records.
The court heard arguments Tuesday in Trump v. Mazars USA, LLP, where solicitor general Jeffrey Wall argued that Congress should not be able to subpoena the president’s personal tax records without a clear legislative purpose — and Ginsburg fired back.
“The purpose of investigation is to frame the legislation,” Ginsburg said. “You don’t have the legislation in mind. You want to explore what is the problem, what legislative change and reduce or eliminate the problem. For example, the Ethics in Government Act, Congress may decide that it needs to beef up that legislation. It may also decide that, for financial disclosure purposes, there should be disclosure of tax returns, so those are legislative purposes, investigate to see if you need legislation of that sort.”
The justice then called out the solicitor general for holding Congress to a lower standard than the court typically held a police officer working a beat for argument’s sake.
“To impugn Congress’s motive, and even the policeman on the beat, if he stops a car and gives a reason that the car went through a stop sign, you don’t allow an investigation into what the subjective motive really was,” she said. “Here you are distrusting Congress more than the cop on the beat.”
Wall insisted he agreed that Congress had the authority to carry out investigations to determine whether legislation was necessary, but he said the standard should be higher when it involved a president’s conduct.
“When the inquiry involves the president, that you need a somewhat higher standard with respect to purpose because the room for regulating the president is so much narrower with respect to private parties,” Wall argued. “Because of the dangers of harassing and distracting and undermining the president, and that is a common theme that runs through the court cases, that the president has some measure of protection because you cannot proceed against the president as against an ordinary litigant. I’m saying Congress is not met that standard here.”
Ginsburg got in one last jab before her time ran out.
“How did that work out in the Paula Jones case?” she said.
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‘Let Me Finish – Peter Let Me Give You the Facts’: Psaki Slams Doocy Over False Fox News Framing of Gas Prices
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki took off the gloves Monday afternoon, pummelling Fox News propagandist Peter Doocy left and right over his false framing of the increase in gas prices, and urging him to let her deliver the facts even though, she said, “I know that can be inconvenient, but I think they’re important in this moment.”
“It sounds like you guys are blaming Putin for the increase in gas prices recently,” a combative Doocy out of the gate told Psaki. “But weren’t gas prices going up anyway because of post-pandemic supply chain issues?”
Citing outside analysts Psaki told Doocy “there’s no question” the increase in gas prices “is a direct result of the invasion of Ukraine.”
“It sounds like you guys are blaming Putin for the increase in gas prices recently, but weren’t gas prices going up anyway because of post-pandemic supply chain issues?” — Peter Doocy pic.twitter.com/7ybbtJGjuA
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 7, 2022
Despite having his false framing shot down Doocy pressed ahead.
“So you say that you’re going to do everything that you can to reduce the impact that high gas prices have on Americans. We’re asking other countries to think about maybe pumping more oil. Why not just do it here?”
“Well,” Psaki continued her education of Doocy, “to be very clear federal policies are not limiting the supply of oil and gas to the contrary –” she said as Doocy interrupted her. “Let me finish – to the contrary, let me finish.”
“Peter, let me, let me give you, let me give you the facts here,” Psaki urged, “and I know that can be inconvenient, but I think they’re important in this moment.”
After more back-and-forth she added: “We have actually produced more oil, it is at record numbers and we will continue to produce more oil – there are 9000 drilling permits that are not being used. So the suggestion that we are not let allowing companies to drill is inaccurate. The suggestion that that is what is hindering or preventing gas prices to come down is inaccurate.
“Would President Biden rescind his executive order that halts new oil and natural gas leases on public lands?” Doocy asked.
“Well, 90% of them happen on private lands, as I’m sure you know, and there are 9000 unused approved drilling permits. So I would suggest you ask the oil companies why they’re not using those if there’s a desire to drill more.”
Having totally struck out, Doocy insisted on asking even more questions.
“Would President Biden ever undo this executive order that stopped the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline?” he asked.
“Are you suggesting that would solve the gas prices issue?” Psaki inquired.
“Well, do you think that that would maybe affect prices faster than getting the whole country off of fossil fuels?” Doocy, who is not an energy expert or an economist, wondered.
“I actually don’t think it would,” Psaki said. “Keystone was not an oil field. It’s a pipeline. Also the oil is continuing to flow in just through other means. So it actually would have nothing to do with the current supply imbalance.”
“Let me give you the facts here. And I know that can be inconvenient, but I think they’re important in this moment” — Jen Psaki to Peter Doocy pic.twitter.com/9sXR0gSSB5
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 7, 2022
‘Well to Put It in Full Context, Peter’: Psaki Kicks Off Week Smacking Down Doocy With Truth Cocktail
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki kicked the week off with a Monday briefing and wasted no time correcting Fox News’ Peter Doocy, who had used a wholly out-of-context question to falsely attack President Joe Biden.
“Before Joe Biden was president he said the COVID travel restrictions on foreign countries were ‘hysterical,’ ‘xenophobia’ and ‘fear mongering.’ So what changed?” Doocy demanded.
“Well, I would say first to put in full context, Peter, what the President was critical of was the way that the former President put out, I believe, a xenophobic tweet, and had and how he, what he called the coronavirus, and who he directed it at. The President has not been critical of travel restrictions. We have put those in place ourselves. We put them in place ourselves in the spring, but no he does not believe – he believes we should follow the advice of health and medical experts. That’s exactly what he did, and putting in place these restrictions over the weekend.”
In fact, as Politifact noted in March of 2020, “Biden has not directly said that the restrictions were xenophobic.”
“Around the time the Trump administration announced the travel restriction, Biden said that Trump had a ‘record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering,'” Politifact added. He did not call travel restrictions “hysterical,” “xenophobia,” or “fear mongering.”
Here’s that Biden tweet from Feb. 2020:
We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 1, 2020
Politifact added that “Biden used the phrase ‘xenophobic’ in reply to a Trump tweet about limiting entry to travelers from China and in which Trump described the coronavirus as the ‘Chinese virus.'”
Here’s that tweet, from March 2020:
Stop the xenophobic fear-mongering. Be honest. Take responsibility. Do your job. https://t.co/nQ5aLVrpyb
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) March 18, 2020
WH Press Sec. Psaki responds to Fox News’ Peter Doocy’s bad-faith question about travel restrictions:
“What the president was critical of was the way that the former president put out, I believe, a xenophobic tweet, and what he called the coronavirus and who he directed it at.” pic.twitter.com/O86c8GuaEg
— The Recount (@therecount) November 29, 2021
Psaki Shuts Down Doocy: Donald Trump Was ‘Suggesting People Inject Poison Into Their Veins’
Despite Fox News spending the better part of a year injecting anti-vaxx hysteria into America, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy on Wednesday tried to blame President Joe Biden for the “vaccine hesitancy” that exists almost exclusively among Republicans.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was not having any of it, and was forced to remind Doocy and America of the time Trump suggested injecting “disinfectant” into the veins of human beings to cure COVID-19:
“And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out, in a minute,” Trump said in April of 2020. “Is there a way we can do something like that? By injection, inside, or almost a cleaning, ’cause you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that. You’re going to have to use medical doctors, right? But it sounds interesting to me.”
Doocy, in a clearly pre-written speech designed to be replayed on Fox News programming, told Psaki that “last year around this time the previous administration was rushing to get a vaccine authorized, and the-now president said, ‘I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump, and at this moment the American people can’t either.'”
“Well,” Psaki replied, “I think it’s safe to say he still doesn’t touch trust Donald Trump, so that hasn’t changed, but he does trust scientists, he does trust data experts, and he does trust the people leading the CDC, the FDA – which is the gold standard of approval for vaccines, I’d also note because this question often comes up, that the President has repeatedly given credit to scientists and experts from the prior administration, even as recently as just a few weeks ago, for their role in moving the vaccine forward.”
Doocy, refusing to concede to facts, retorted that “at the time, when Donald Trump is out there saying ‘we’re gonna have a vaccine in the next couple of weeks, next couple months,’ and Joe Biden is out on the campaign trail saying, ‘Don’t trust Donald Trump,’ did that create any kind of vaccine hesitancy?”
Many Americans at the time said they would not trust the vaccine because they believed Trump would force the FDA to approve a vaccine too soon, just so he could get re-elected. His own White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, in the middle of September all but promised the vaccine would be approved by the end of that month.
“Not that we’ve seen in the data. I would note that at the time, just for context, the former president was also suggesting people inject versions of poison into their veins to cure COVID. So I think that’s a relevant point.”
“I would note that at the time, just for context, the former president was also suggesting people inject versions of poison into their veins to cure Covid” — Jen Psaki to Peter Doocy pic.twitter.com/qdnySKMR3B
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 11, 2021
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