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Nadler: 'We are now in a constitutional crisis'

Nadler: 'We are now in a constitutional crisis'
© Greg Nash

After voting to hold Attorney General William BarrBill BarrHouse Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists Judge temporarily blocks release of Trump obstruction memo Garland pledges review of DOJ policies amid controversy MORE in contempt of Congress Wednesday, House Judiciary Chair Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists Outrage grows as Justice seeks to contain subpoena fallout Iowa man sentenced for threatening Rep. Jerry Nadler MORE (D-N.Y.) declared that the nation is in a "constitutional crisis" as the Trump administration digs in against Democrats' attempts at congressional oversight.

"We’ve talked for a long time about approaching a Constitutional crisis. We are now in it,” Nadler said in an afternoon press conference. 

"Now is the time of testing whether we can keep a republic, or whether this republic is destined to change into a different, more tyrannical form of government," he added "We must resist this."

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Nadler's Judiciary panel voted to hold Barr in contempt for failing to produce an un-redacted version of 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 report and its underlying evidence. The vote came the same day that President TrumpDonald TrumpDOJ asks Supreme Court to revive Boston Marathon bomber death sentence, in break with Biden vow Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting DOJ tells media execs that reporters were not targets of investigations MORE moved to exert executive privilege over the report, which was released in redacted form last month.

Nadler's statements echo similar comments he made Wednesday morning before the House panel voted.

"The phrase constitutional crisis has been overused, but certainly," he said Wednesday morning, according to CNN. "Certainly, it's a constitutional crisis, although I don't like to use that phrase because it's been used for far less dangerous situations."

"We are in one because the president is disobeying the law, is refusing all information to Congress," he added.