You'd almost think they were criminals

You'd almost think they were criminals

by digby

If Trump keeps refusing to observe the constitution, threatening political leaders of the past and pushing his hysterical "coup" talk it's going to backfire:

Donald Trump’s declaration this week that his administration will stonewall “all the subpoenas” from Congress has pushed House Democrats to rethink their impeachment calculus.

Top Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have said the party will consider impeachment only after doing due diligence—like hearing from key figures like Special Counsel Robert Mueller, obtaining the documents he used in his investigation, and more.

But the White House’s plans to indefinitely stiff-arm their requests for documents and testimony, combined with the instances of alleged obstruction already laid out in Mueller’s report, is complicating that plan— and may drag House Democrats toward impeachment as an appropriately forceful way to respond to the administration’s conduct.

“I think the combination of the chilling depictions in the Mueller Report and Trump’s opacity is moving some members into the impeachment camp,” said one Democratic lawmaker. “Translation: it’s always the cover-up that gets ‘em.”

And a senior Democratic aide told The Daily Beast that the temperature within the conference has gone up since Trump said point-blank that the White House fights all congressional subpoenas.

Contempt of Congress was the third article of impeachment against Nixon— a piece of history that has been front-of-mind for congressional Democrats over the last few days. And Democrats say they are prepared to hold members of the Trump administration in contempt if the stonewalling continues.

The obstruction outlined in the Mueller Report, said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, has “leapt off the page” in the last week with Trump’s refusal of lawmakers’ request.

“I have a hunch,” said Raskin, “that he is moving the whole caucus closer to seeing impeachable offenses.”

On Wednesday, Trump’s attitude about Democrats’ attempts at oversight was crystal clear. “We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” he said outside the White House. “I say it’s enough… These aren’t, like, impartial people. The Democrats are trying to win 2020.”

In the days since Mueller’s report became public, the administration has backed up Trump’s tough talk with rejections of a raft of Democratic requests for documents and testimony on a number of fronts.

As I pointed out yesterday, Trump's stonewalling tactic may also be coming up against some powerful Republican officials who never have to run for re-election. And while they have no shame, obviously, or they wouldn't be Republicans, they also have nothing to fear from Trump's cult. And they like Don McGahn and have a high opinion of themselves as caretakers of the constitution. I'm speaking of the federal judiciary, which has lifetime tenure.

After 2000, I would never bet money on their integrity or any reluctance to run with the worst partisans in their party. But it's possible that now that they've packed the courts with wingnuts they may feel as if it's time to try to reclaim some of the party's reputation. (Mind you, it would only be to put someone just as malevolent but slicker than Trump in power.) But there's at least a small chance that some of them don't want to completely blow up the constitutional order.