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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Gerry Connolly"

Va. congressman joins call for impeachment inquiry

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va, said on Thursday that he believes it’s now time to begin an impeachment inquiry, citing possible obstruction of justice outlined in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, while also stating that President Donald Trump “has stained the Oval Office with his racism, xenophobia and bigotry.”

Connolly, who represents Northern Virginia’s 11th District, is a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which has clashed repeatedly with the White House over requests for information related to a wide range of investigations. In a statement, Connolly charged that the president “at every opportunity has chosen to disregard the rule of law and our constitution for his own enrichment.”

The Democratic lawmaker also said it is important not to become “desensitized” to the president’s behavior.

“At every moment, whether it was in the aftermath of Charlottesville, or El Paso or Dayton, he has failed to heal our country and call us to our better angels,” he said. “Instead, he has stained the Oval Office with his racism, xenophobia and bigotry.”

He sent out a full statement in a tweet:

Another Virginia Democrat, Rep. Jennifer Wexton, who represents the 10th District, recently announced her support for an impeachment inquiry.

Many other Washington-area Democrats support an impeachment inquiry, including Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, as well as House Oversight. He has said that the House has already effectively begun an “impeachment investigation.”

More than half of House Democrats are now on the record as supporting an impeachment inquiry.

The issue of impeachment was also featured prominently in a court filing made on Wednesday by the House Judiciary Committee, which filed suit to compel the testimony of former White House counsel Don McGahn. The Mueller report states that the president at one point directed that McGahn fire the special counsel, which he declined to do.

“McGahn is the Judiciary Committee’s most important fact witness in its consideration of whether to recommend articles of impeachment and its related investigation of misconduct by the president, including acts of obstruction of justice described in the special counsel’s report,” the filing on behalf of the committee states.

McGahn’s attorney said the president has instructed his client to cooperate with the special counsel, but directed him not to testify to Congress, unless the White House and lawmakers reached an agreement.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, while steadily supporting committee efforts to investigate the president, has resisted call to begin a formal impeachment inquiry. She has said lawmakers will continue to “follow the facts” and see where they go.

Republicans have sharply criticized Democrats, arguing that they are pursing various investigations in an effort to politically damage the president’s re-election chances.


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Best of NoVA 2019: Political Personality

Westlake Legal Group gerry Best of NoVA 2019: Political Personality representative local politician Gerry Connolly Culture Features best of nova 2019
Rep. Gerry Connolly. (Photo by Robert Merhaut)

Local Politician

Winner: Rep. Gerry Connolly
Rep. Gerry Connolly has been serving Northern Virginia in Congress since 2009. The 11th District encompasses Fairfax County, Prince William County and the City of Fairfax, so we asked him to share some of his favorite places to spend time in NoVA.

Favorite place for a date night?
Each summer, I plan special date nights with my wife and daughter where we have dinner and see a show at Wolf Trap. It’s a treasure in our community.

In the summer, favorite place to spend time outside?
I can always count on a good time at Viva Vienna, just strolling through Mosaic District in Merrifield or stopping by the summer concert series on the Plaza at Tysons.

Favorite restaurant?
The Espositos in Fairfax is a go-to for me and my wife, Smitty. Great food, relaxing atmosphere where I can run into neighbors and amazing service. You can’t go wrong with the pizza, manicotti or pasta arrabbiato.

Favorite place to take out-of-towners?
Our community is home to so many great places to visit, including our national parks, Civil War battlefields and museums both here and in Washington, DC, that it is hard to name just one. Maybe less well-known, however, is Lake Accotink, which is a great family amenity, or in the winter the magical light display at Meadowlark Gardens.

Our Best of NoVA 2019 issue is on stands now. 

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Connolly to administration officials: Honor our subpoenas or go to jail

Westlake Legal Group connolly-to-administration-officials-honor-our-subpoenas-or-go-to-jail Connolly to administration officials: Honor our subpoenas or go to jail The Blog subpoenas stephen miller Gerry Connolly donald trump Congress

Westlake Legal Group connolly-jail Connolly to administration officials: Honor our subpoenas or go to jail The Blog subpoenas stephen miller Gerry Connolly donald trump Congress

Don’t start fitting Stephen Miller for prison stripes or orange jumpsuits just yet. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) told CNN that the House Oversight Committee plans to enforce their subpoena authority to the full extent, including levying fines and even jailing those who refuse to appear. There’s a difference, though, between theoretical authority and the power of enforcement:

Rep. Gerry Connolly threatened jail time for White House officials who are declining to comply with congressional committees’ efforts to conduct oversight of President Donald Trump’s administration. It’s the latest salvo in the escalating battle between the White House and congressional Democrats, who have scaled up their oversight requests following the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Connolly, who sits on the Oversight Committee, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room,” “We’re going to resist, and if a subpoena is issued and you’re told you must testify, we will back that up.”

“And we will use any and all power in our command to make sure it’s backed up — whether that’s a contempt citation, whether that’s going to court and getting that citation enforced, whether it’s fines, whether it’s possible incarceration,” the Virginia Democrat added. “We will go to the max to enforce the constitutional role of the legislative branch of government.”

Connolly’s claim that defiance of these subpoenas rises to a constitutional crisis is hyperbolic at best. As Wolf Blitzer notes, none of the three subpoenas discussed with Connolly involve the Mueller investigation, but at least two of these subpoenas involve executive privilege: Stephen Miller, John Gore, and possibly Carl Kline as well. Oversight refuses to allow Gore to bring a DoJ attorney to advise him on executive privilege restraints while being questioned. Executive privilege is a well-adjudicated counterclaim to congressional subpoenas that allows presidents to keep discussions with aides confidential in order to protect the executive’s ability to get good advice and govern wisely. As White House counsel Pat Cipollone noted in his response to Miller’s subpoena, no White House has allowed advisers to testify about internal discussions in the past.

Congress’ subpoena power isn’t plenary either, although it is certainly wide-ranging. A Congressional Research Service analysis from 2015 concludes that Congress has to show a legitimate legislative purpose for the subpoena, and that means it has to involve something in Congress’ control. Internal discussions at the White House wouldn’t qualify, and perhaps neither would security-access decisions, authority for which is mainly reserved to the executive branch.

Even if it’s on point legislatively and not subject to executive privilege, however, enforcing punitive measures on subpoena targets is, shall we say, more theoretical than practical. Again, the same CRS analysis says Congress has the ability to levy fines or command jail time, but lacks the authority to make those writs stick. In almost all situations, it would take the cooperation of the Department of Justice to enforce those rulings, and a DoJ under Trump is not about to enforce such writs.

Congress could then go to court, but that runs into a time problem, as it did with Harriet Miers. Once the session of Congress expires, so do any contempt proceedings — and such efforts could take years to get through the court. With Miers, it took 19 months just to get a procedural reading, and the case on its merits had yet to be argued when the session of Congress expired.

Connolly’s issuing empty threats, as former AG Eric Holder can attest chapter and verse over his years-long contempt citation over refusal to disclose actual DoJ actions in Operation Fast and Furious. No one’s going to jail, no one’s paying any fines, and as long as Democrats obsess over investigations, no one’s coming to their hearings either. That’s not a great development, but it’s not a new one either — and the gotcha climate that still remains after the end of the Mueller investigation has a lot to do with it worsening.

The post Connolly to administration officials: Honor our subpoenas or go to jail appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group connolly-jail-300x163 Connolly to administration officials: Honor our subpoenas or go to jail The Blog subpoenas stephen miller Gerry Connolly donald trump Congress  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com