Tag Archives: Judiciary Committee

Clown show plays poorly

The Jim Jordan Clown Show opened and closed after the U.S. House Judiciary Committee chairman sought ostensibly to examine crime in New York City.

Except that the clown show wasn’t at all about NYC crime. It was an attempt to embarrass Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, who had the temerity to ramrod a grand jury indictment of Donald Trump. Jordan, the Ohio Republican, would have none of that.

What did the GOP fire-breather do? He convened a “field hearing” in NYC that he said would seek to examine the crime in the nation’s largest city. Oh, wait! He didn’t mention that New York’s crime rate is among the lowest per capita of any large city in the country.

NYC’s violent crime rate is lower than, say, Columbus or Cleveland, in Ohio — where Jordan lives.

What the nation witnessed in New York was a blatant effort to politicize a legitimate criminal investigation, which the Manhattan DA concluded with the grand jury indictment of the former POTUS. And to listen to Jordan and his fellow GOP Trumpkins accuse Democrats of playing politics is enough to make me hurl.

What’s more, Jordan decided to conduct this so-called field hearing after he sought to summon Bragg to testify before his committee at the Capitol Building. One problem: Jordan has no legal or constitutional authority to require an elected official from one of our states to make such an appearance.

Alvin Bragg did his job according to the oath he took when he became district attorney. The grand jurors also did their jobs in accordance with the oath they took when they surrendered their time as working citizens to examine the evidence presented to them.

I am not going to take anything that comes from Jim Jordan or his Trumpkin cabal seriously until he — and they — take their public offices seriously. I doubt it will happen.


‘Checks and balances’ principle gets new life

I do not believe it is an overstatement to presume that those of us who watched acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s skewering on Capitol Hill has provides us with a harbinger of what Donald Trump can expect for the next two years.

Whitaker spent most of the day today in front of the House Judiciary Committee, which was conducting an “oversight hearing” on the Department of Justice. He got pounded. He stonewalled the committee in return. It was an angry day of recrimination.

Whitaker is leaving the Justice Department soon. William Barr will be confirmed soon as the next attorney general. Whitaker was hardly an inspired choice to fill in for Jeff Sessions, who Trump fired a few weeks ago because the former AG recused himself from anything to do with “The Russia Thing.”

Now that Democrats control the House of Representatives, their caucus has assumed committee chairmanships. I believe that Democrats, who became fed up with Republican resistance to asking difficult questions of the Trump administration, are seeking to release some of that pent-up anger. We saw it on full display today as Whitaker appeared before the Judiciary Committee.

I also want to propose that this is not a bad thing. The U.S. Constitution grants Congress a measure of power that is equal to the presidency; throw in the federal courts and you have three equally powerful government branches.

Democrats challenged Whitaker; Republicans on the Judiciary panel challenged Democrats, who pushed back hard on the “points of order” that their GOP “friends” were asserting.

It wasn’t a pretty thing to watch today as Whitaker and Judiciary panel Democrats clashed openly. We might as well get used to it, though, ladies and gentlemen. Indeed, once the special counsel finishes his probe of alleged collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government, there likely is going to be even more rhetorical grenades being tossed.

It won’t be pretty. Then again, representative democracy is a damn ugly form of government. However, as the great Winston Churchill noted, it’s far better than any other governmental system devised.