A Contrived Crisis
Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee approved a contempt of Congress citation against Attorney General William Barr. The citation was approved along party lines and was based on Barr's refusal to comply with a subpoena demanding the release of the full, unredacted Mueller report.
Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler immediately appeared before the microphones and declared that we are in the midst of a "constitutional crisis." No we aren't. This is a politically contrived crisis of his making.
As we noted previously, Barr is under no obligation to release the Mueller report. The regulations governing the special counsel say he is to issue a report to the attorney general, not to Congress.
Nevertheless, Barr did make a special version of the report available to members of Congress. Less than two percent of that report is redacted, and not one Democrat has even bothered to look at it.
More importantly, the committee's subpoena would require the attorney general to break the law governing the protection of grand jury material. Chairman Nadler, who fought the release of the Starr report in 1998, is well aware of this law.
But here's something else to ponder.
Throughout the Mueller investigation, the president suggested he was very unhappy with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and wanted him out.
Trump was clearly unhappy with FBI Director James Comey. So much so that he fired Comey.
It's disputed, but there are reports that the president wanted to fire Robert Mueller.
Keep in mind that as president he has every right to fire all three of them. They are executive branch officials and as such they serve at the pleasure of the president. Yet Democrats and their media allies cite each of these examples as possible obstruction of justice by the president.
Recently, the current attorney general told the Senate that he believes the president's campaign was spied on and that he has real concerns about the conduct of the FBI and Department of Justice. As a result, multiple Democrats in Congress and media outlets are now demanding that Barr be impeached and removed from office.
Using the Democrats' own standard, aren't they now guilty of obstruction?
They are trying to stop an investigation into how the Steele dossier, paid for by Hillary Clinton's campaign, was used to justify spying on the Republican presidential nominee and the duly elected president of the United States.
This is what every Republican member of Congress should be saying today: Democrats are trying to obstruct justice by preventing Attorney General Barr from investigating how the deep state used a debunked dossier to meddle in our elections.
An Encouraging Backlash
Last night, a vigil was held at Highlands Ranch High School to remember Kendrick Castillo and the other victims of Tuesday's school shooting. Castillo was one of the students who rushed the shooters. Sadly, he was killed, sacrificing his life to save others. But the vigil did not go as planned.
When Democrat lawmakers took the podium, they tried to turn the vigil into a gun control rally. At that point, students began walking out in protest. They objected to being used as political pawns and demanded the opportunity to speak so they could appropriately honor Castillo.
One local resident tweeted, "Very dissatisfied with the politics!! A student died and 8 others were left hospitalized. The vigil at Highlands Ranch was never supposed to be a political platform!"
Once again, the left attempted to exploit a tragedy to advance its radical agenda. It is disgusting that the vigil honoring this courageous student was hijacked by the left. But I am encouraged that so many students were willing to stand up and defend their rights.
Tomorrow, I will be joining my fellow commissioners on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom for a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence. We will be providing the vice president with a briefing on our latest report detailing religious persecution around the world.
This is an issue near and dear to the vice president's heart. As you may know, Mike Pence has personally intervened with the bureaucracy to cut through red tape and speed up the delivery of needed aid to Christians in Iraq.
Yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met in London with British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. Pompeo made it clear that the Trump Administration is making religious freedom a central element of its foreign policy agenda.
He also announced that the State Department will be hosting its second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom later this summer. The Ministerial is another project that I and other members of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom will be deeply involved with.
My friends, it is such an honor to be part of an administration that is so committed to religious freedom here in the United States and around the world. What a contrast to the Obama years!