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 TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday after he asserted executive privilege over special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE’s entire Russia report.

Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeThe US should work to counter India's actions against the people of Kashmir Sheila Jackson Lee tops colleagues in House floor speaking days over past decade Omar calls on US to investigate Turkey over possible war crimes in Syria 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 BarrDems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Pentagon to place new restrictions, monitoring on foreign military students Parnas: Environment around Trump 'like a cult' 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 RaskinThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial questions; civil Democratic debate House poised to hand impeachment articles to Senate House to vote Wednesday on sending articles of impeachment to Senate 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 UnBrent Budowsky: The patriotic duty of Senate Republicans US ambassador: 'I was personally surprised' North Korea did not send 'Christmas gift' Overnight Defense: Foreign policy takes center stage at Democratic debate | House delivers impeachment articles to Senate | Dems vow to force new vote on Trump's border wall MORE and Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinDOJ releases new tranche of Mueller witness documents Russia's shakeup has implications for Putin, Medvedev and the US The Hill's Morning Report - Dems to lay out impeachment case to senators next week 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 JayapalHouse to investigate Trump 'Remain in Mexico' policy Democrats don't expect to do 2020 budget House to vote Thursday on war powers resolution after Iran attacks 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."