The struggle between House Democrats and the lawyer fashionable – full boil now. Mr. Barr turned into a no-show Thursday, declining to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. And he is refused to comply with a subpoena for the full, unredacted Mueller document and its underlying material. For their part, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi outright accused the attorney standard of mendacity to Congress while House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler threatened to preserve him in contempt.
We welcome Elliot Williams. He’s a former deputy assistant legal professional wellknown for legislative affairs and a former recommend to the Senate Judiciary Committee. He’s in our studio. Mr. Williams, thank you for being with us.
ELLIOT WILLIAMS: Thanks for having me.
SIMON: If the legal professional standard maintains to defy subpoenas for the entire file, what else may the Democrats do?
WILLIAMS: Well, they can keep him in contempt of Congress. But permit’s – you realize, we’re quibbling approximately those tactics that the Democrats can comply with. And we should type of pull the digicam returned – or the microphone here because the case is.
SIMON: Thank you.
SIMON: Thank you.
WILLIAMS: And what is this in reality about? What turned into this entire week approximately? And I suppose this fight among the government and legislative departments is superb when you have a government department and a president committed to thwarting Congress but not genuinely regarding Congress as a coequal department of the presidency. And some of the times we saw this week, both Barr’s – you recognize, over Barr not coming to the House of Representatives and this query approximately whether all and sundry in the administration will follow a subpoena all receives again to this essential, you understand, presidential harassment that the president’s been speaking approximately for a protracted even as.
And so it is – you understand, we’re moving into the minutia of man or woman techniques that power hearings. But in reality, we must consider what the president’s approach to Congress has been and how this is forcing us to reshape the notion of what separation of powers is. And it is unfortunate, I think.
SIMON: Does Congress have any options?
SIMON: I mean, Republicans attempted this with Fast and Furious…
WILLIAMS: They did.
SIMON: …Didn’t they?
WILLIAMS: Yeah. They did. And they held my former boss Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. Now, the trouble is most of the time, while there may be a contempt resolution, the character – you’re asking the Department of Justice to arrest the Department of Justice…
WILLIAMS: …Essentially, proper? So, you already know, I imply, there may be not virtually tons…
SIMON: Well, they recognize the deal with.
WILLIAMS: They know wherein to find him if they do want to move after him. But on the quiet of the day, most of these items get labored out. Fast and Furious was resolved in the long run, and the files had been growing to become over. And there’s always an inns system. But once more, it gets again to the query, whilst one birthday party form refuses to regard the alternative as an equal negotiating companion, it’s hard to barter. And I think we’re seeing a number of that now in a manner that we have not really even within the Nineties with Dan Burton versus the Clinton White House. So this is an interesting era we’ve got entered inside the courting between the executive and legislative.
SIMON: Is there something that could be carried out to carry in the testimony of Don McGahn…
SIMON: ….Former White House recommend?
WILLIAMS: You understand, it is lots, tons more difficult to bar – no pun supposed, to bar the testimony of a non-public citizen, which he’s now if he desires to testify. The query is, does he want to testify? Now, glaringly, his non-public interests and legal interests don’t quite line up along with his former bosses because now, you realize a few loyalty questions. I realize that you understand, the president…
WILLIAMS: …Comments on that plenty, however, additionally, a few felony locations where they may be at odds. And so for them – if he desires to testify, he’ll likely testify. Now, the president…
SIMON: He may also – he is welcome right here any time.
WILLIAMS: Oh (laughter). I’m sure he’s. And I’m certain you’ll do a remarkable interview. But, you understand, it also does not be a full open listening to in testimony. They could interview non-public and training sessions any range of approaches. So there’s a complex – a longstanding negotiation manner over all of those hearings that, again, is going lower back to the…
SIMON: Yeah. But this management doesn’t seem to want to negotiate it, proper?
WILLIAMS: And again – and I suppose getting lower back to this entire query of – so permits get returned to Barr’s testimony before the House of Representatives. This question of 30 minutes of personal interviews – you already know, group of workers wondering a witness – is pettifoged. It’s a minor thing that – and frankly, I’ve negotiated these styles of hearings. And it’s just minor. They may want to work that out. And under ordinary terms, they would. And so, yes, each McGahn and Barr can negotiate the phrases in their look and if we, the human beings and all of the parties, need to do it.
SIMON: Elliot Williams, former federal prosecutor and principal at The Raben Group, thanks a lot for being with us.
WILLIAMS: Thank you, Scott.