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 TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday after he asserted executive privilege over special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump Schiff says Intel panel will hold 'series' of hearings on Mueller report MORE’s entire Russia report.

Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeEXCLUSIVE: Trump on reparations: 'I don't see it happening' Hicks repeatedly blocked by White House from answering Judiciary questions Democrats bristle as Hicks appears for daylong Capitol Hill testimony 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 BarrDemocrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question The Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations EXCLUSIVE: Trump declines to say he has confidence in FBI director 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 seek to ban federal spending at Trump businesses Warren introduces universal child care legislation Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump 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 UnTrump to travel to South Korea The Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck North Korea: Trump sent Kim letter of 'excellent content' MORE and Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinTop Democrat accuses White House of obstructing review related to Trump-Putin communications Trump on addressing election interference with Putin: 'I may' Beware the Bolton path to US military strikes on Iran 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 JayapalSanders unveils student debt plan amid rivalry with Warren The Evergreen State and the soul of the Democratic Party Sanders proposes canceling .6 trillion in US student debt 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."