Dem lawmaker says Trump ‘has in many respects become a dictator’

Greg Nash

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that President Trump’s attempts to block Congress from performing its oversight function is indicative of his growing authoritarianism.

“They’re throwing every obstacle in our way because the president has in many respects become a dictator,” Speier said on CNN. “He is trying to prevent Congress from doing its oversight action, and we won’t accept that.”

{mosads}Speier’s comments came as tensions continue to escalate between Democrats and the Trump administration over special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into Russia’s election interference and whether Trump committed obstruction of justice.

Trump on Wednesday asserted executive privilege over Mueller’s full report, a move that came just before the House Judiciary Committee convened to vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress because he failed to respond to a subpoena for an unredacted version of Mueller’s report and its underlying materials. 

Speier said Democrats were moving forward with a contempt vote to turn up the “heat” on the administration.

“There’s no question that holding him in contempt will then throw it to the courts and we will have to hope that will be expedited,” she said. “But Congress has the right to access the underlying documents of the Mueller report. There’s no question about that.”

A redacted version of Mueller’s 22-month investigation into Russian interference was released last month. The investigation did not uncover evidence to conclude that a conspiracy between the 2016 Trump campaign and Moscow took place. 

But the report noted that Mueller could not come to a conclusive determination on whether Trump obstructed justice. 

Democrats have since demanded more materials related to the report and investigation. 

Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee repeatedly denounced Trump during a committee markup on Wednesday. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said Trump’s move to assert executive privilege amounted to taking a “wrecking ball to the Constitution of the United States of America.”

Tags Donald Trump Robert Mueller Sheila Jackson Lee William Barr

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