Advertisements

Stonewalling: White House Ignores Subpoena, Refuses to Send Witness to Congress, Yet Another Court Battle Ahead

white-house-horiz

The White House is refusing to allow political adviser David Simas to respond to a subpoena from House Oversight chairman Darrell Issa.

“Flouting a federal judge’s opinion about our system of checks and balances is yet another attack on our nation’s Constitution by this president.”

— Darrell Issa, in a statement late Tuesday night

National Review‘s John Fund reportsWhite House counsel W. Neil Eggleston says Issa has no power to compel Simas to testify at a hearing Wednesday morning about whether the office he runs has been engaged in improper political activity in violation of the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from such activities as campaign fundraising and explicit political support.

David Simas, right, in the White House last year. His new job is political director, and his goal is to help Democrats do well in political campaigns, even if it means violating the Hatch Act, because White House counsel W. Neil Eggleston believes Simas is immune from congressional process and can refuse to respond to subpoenas.  Doug Mills/The New York Times

David Simas, right, in the White House last year. His job is political director, and his goal is to help Democrats do well in political campaigns, even if it means violating the Hatch Act, because White House counsel believes Simas is immune from congressional process and can decline to respond to subpoenas. Doug Mills/The New York Times

Eggleston cited a new opinion from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel that cited precedents going back to Presidents Harry Truman and Richard Nixon of executive privilege being asserted against testimony by White House aides.

“This hearing seeks to examine a political office embedded within the White House which, under Democratic and Republican administrations, has had a controversial role of coordinating political campaign activity for the president at taxpayer expense.”

Issa responds that in a case brought by congressional Democrats in 2008 against the Bush White House, a federal judge found that the idea of absolute immunity of a White House official from a congressional subpoena was “unprecedented” and held that presidential aides are “not absolutely immune from congressional process.”

“Flouting a federal judge’s opinion about our system of checks and balances is yet another attack on our nation’s Constitution by this president,” Issa said in a statement late Tuesday night. “This hearing seeks to examine a political office embedded within the White House which, under Democratic and Republican administrations, has had a controversial role of coordinating political campaign activity for the president at taxpayer expense.”

Issa has a troubling stack of examples of Hatch Act violations by federal officials during the Obama administration…(read more)

National Review Online

Advertisements

One Comment on “Stonewalling: White House Ignores Subpoena, Refuses to Send Witness to Congress, Yet Another Court Battle Ahead”

  1. […] Stonewalling: White House Ignores Subpoena, Refuses to Send Witness to Congress, Yet Another Court B… (punditfromanotherplanet.com) […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.