Dems lay into Trump for taking a 'wrecking ball to the Constitution'

Dems lay into Trump for taking a 'wrecking ball to the Constitution'
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Democratic lawmakers lit into President TrumpDonald John TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday after he asserted executive privilege over special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE’s entire Russia report.

Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeDemocrats press Nadler to hold Lewandowski in contempt Democrats bicker over strategy on impeachment Jackson Lee: 'Racism is a national security threat' MORE (D) took a brief pause at the start of her remarks for what she called a “moment in history” ahead of the committee’s vote on whether to hold Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrClarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump Democrats to seek ways to compel release of Trump whistleblower complaint Democrats press Nadler to hold Lewandowski in contempt MORE in contempt of Congress for not turning over Mueller’s unredacted report and underlying materials.

"Having received ... a copy of the letter the president of the United States by General Barr, a letter from the Department of Justice indicating after their purposeful collapse of the negotiations well-intentioned by the staff and the House Judiciary Committee,” Jackson Lee said, “I can only conclude that the president now seeks to take a wrecking ball to the Constitution of the United States of America.”

"For the first time in the history of the United States, a president is now exerting executive privilege over every aspect of life that the American people desire to have information," the congresswoman continued.

“Whether or not the Affordable Care Act is dissolving the pre-existing conditions [exemptions], whether or not children or being separated from their parents, whether or not the environment is being destroyed, anything the Congress wants to do on behalf of the American people is now being alleged to be under the jurisdiction of privilege,” she said.

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Other Democrats also railed against Trump’s move to exert executive privilege over the Russia report.

“I think we need to remark how far this president has lowered our country. First, they destroyed the norms and the values of society – things that we’d always taken for granted,” Maryland Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinDemocrats bicker over strategy on impeachment Overnight Defense: Trump says he has 'many options' on Iran | Hostage negotiator chosen for national security adviser | Senate Dems block funding bill | Documents show Pentagon spent at least 4K at Trump's Scotland resort Top Oversight Democrat demands immigration brass testify MORE (D) said at Wednesday’s hearing. 

“You don’t use disgusting, profane language to disparage other people’s countries and you don’t call neo-Nazis and Klansmen ‘very fine people,’” Raskin said. “You don’t give aid and comfort to the dictators of the world like Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnOvernight Defense: Trump hits Iranian central bank with sanctions | Trump meeting with Ukrainian leader at UN | Trump touts relationship with North Korea's Kim as 'best thing' for US Trump laments Otto Warmbier wasn't freed faster from North Korea Trump calls relationship with North Korea's Kim 'the best thing' for US MORE and Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinWe, the People: A radical idea that must persist Trump's 'soldier of fortune' foreign policy Feehery: Impeachment fever bad for Democratic governing vision MORE by flattering them and being their sycophants.” 

“But then you destroyed the norms and the values of your office. You called the press the enemy of the people. You called true facts fake news and you call fake news true facts. You vilify, you demonize the hardworking employees of the Department of Justice and the FBI. You accuse them of being a part of a fantasy deep-state conspiracy just for doing their jobs,” he continued. 

“You falsely claim millions of people voted illegally while you deny and dismiss the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller that there was a sweeping and systematic campaign to disrupt our elections in 2016,” he added.

Washington Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalProgressives push for changes to Pelosi drug pricing plan Pelosi woos progressives on prescription drug pricing plan Democrats ignore Asian American and Pacific Islander voters at their peril MORE (D) even brought clippings from reports with titles like “The discrepancy between the Mueller report and Barr’s findings” and “How Barr’s excerpts compare to Mueller report's findings” to the hearing Wednesday.

“Do you know why these articles were written?" she asked. "Attorney General Barr misrepresented what was in the Mueller report.” 

“I wanna be clear,” she continued, “if the president refuses this request, refuses all subpoenas, refuses all witnesses, that affects every aspect of the American peoples’ lives. It means that there is no oversight when the president seeks to strip health care away from millions of Americans. It means there is no oversight when this administration rips children away from their parents at the border.”

"Let's be clear,” she went on, “we are at a brink of importance between democracy and dictatorship if we ignore checks and balances. And I fully support holding this attorney general in contempt for refusing to comply with constitutional foundations."