Federal judge Amit Mehta could not believe the arguments the president's lawyer, William Consovoy, made on Monday:
Consovoy, a beefy former law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas, offered two related points:
(A) Congress can’t issue a subpoena or otherwise probe a president unless it is doing so for a “legitimate legislative purpose.”
(B) Any “legitimate legislative purpose” Congress could conceivably devise would be unconstitutional.
As a result, Consovoy argued, Congress can’t investigate to see if a law is being broken, can’t inform the public of wrongdoing by the executive and can’t look for presidential conflicts of interest or corruption, because that would be “law enforcement.”
I can't believe these arguments either. Dana Milbank suggests that Consovoy expects to drag out the appeals process and essentially run out the clock on Congress's ongoing investigations.
This may explain why Democratic activist Tom Steyer released this ad yesterday:
Pretty damning stuff. And it gets to the frustration that many of us feel.
I'm willing to give the House Democrats more time. But just a little. Because we need to get the facts out there before the next election.