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 TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday after he asserted executive privilege over special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE’s entire Russia report.

Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeOvernight Defense: Trump leaves door open to possible troop increase in Middle East | Putin offers immediate extension of key nuclear treaty Lawmakers to watch during Wednesday's impeachment hearing Lawmakers honor JFK on 56th anniversary of his death 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 BarrInspector general testifies on FBI failures: Five takeaways Budowsky: Would John McCain back impeachment? Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen asks judge to reduce sentence 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 gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Lawmakers to watch during Wednesday's impeachment hearing Pelosi faces tough choices on impeachment managers 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 UnBolton rips Trump administration's move to block UN meeting on North Korea South Korea: North tested rocket engine The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - Democrats to release articles of impeachment today MORE and Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinBudowsky: Would John McCain back impeachment? Sanctions encourage Sino-Russian cooperation Return of nuclear doomsday 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 JayapalOvernight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — House panel unveils rival fix for surprise medical bills | Democrats punt vote on youth vaping bill | Pelosi drug bill poised for passage after deal with progressives Comey, Schiff to be interviewed by Fox's Chris Wallace Pelosi reaches deal with progressives to avert showdown over drug price bill 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."