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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 TrumpEx-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Ex-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' MORE at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday after he asserted executive privilege over special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s entire Russia report.

Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeSimmering Democratic tensions show signs of boiling over Wray grilled on FBI's handling of Jan. 6 California comes to terms with the costs and consequences of slavery 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 BarrBill BarrEx-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Garland sparks anger with willingness to side with Trump Trump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says 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 Raskin House Democrats to Schumer: Vote again on Jan. 6 probe Democrats claim vindication, GOP cries witch hunt as McGahn finally testifies Trump DOJ seized phone records of New York Times reporters 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: Austin and Milley talk budget, Afghanistan, sexual assault and more at wide-ranging Senate hearing North Korea calls U.S.-South Korea missile development hostile policy Biden's invisible foreign policy success MORE and Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinPutin laughs when asked by NBC reporter if he's a 'killer' Biden and the crucible of European peace Biden should remind Erdogan of NATO's basic tenets and values 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 JayapalNew Alzheimer's drug sparks backlash over FDA, pricing Hillicon Valley: House targets tech giants with antitrust bills | Oversight chair presses JBS over payment to hackers | Trump spokesman to join tech company | YouTube suspends GOP senator Simmering Democratic tensions show signs of boiling over 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."