If the Trump administration continues to not cooperate with Congressional investigations, the president could be impeached on that alone, top Democrats threatened on Wednesday.
Speaking at a press conference Wednesday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff reaffirmed Democrats’ new stance that they’ll consider any resistance from the administration as “further evidence of obstruction.”
“Of course that was an article of impeachment against President Nixon,” the California Democrat said.
For his part, Mr. Trump said Wednesday he was willing to go along with Democrats, but it’s not clear how far that cooperation will extend.
Democrats will also take any pushback from the White House as a reason to conclude that the allegations in the whistleblower complaint — that President Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on the Biden family and tried to cover it up — are true.
Currently, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and the White House itself are facing subpoenas from House Democrats as the Ukraine allegations take center stage in their impeachment inquiry.
The threat came a day after Mr. Pompeo accused House Democrats of attempting to bully his officials and said they might not appear before the committees.
Several Trump-associated witnesses — including Attorney General William Barr, former White House counsel Don McGahn and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski — have refused to work with House Democrats’ attempts to press them for answers.
Democrats have tried to hold uncooperative witnesses in contempt in an attempt to force them to comply — one of the most prominent examples being Mr. McGahn’s refusal to testify before the Judiciary committee.
That battle has been dragging out in the courts for several months, though members said that could be a watershed moment for their work retracing the Mueller report.
The difficultly in trying to get the key players in the alleged episodes to even play ball have frustrated members, many of whom are once again floating the idea of using the long-dormant power of inherent contempt.
Democratic leadership, however, appears to still have its eye on going through the courts.
“We’ll have to decide whether to litigate or how to litigate,” Mr. Schiff said.
“We’re not fooling around here though,” he added. “We don’t want this to drag on for months and months and months, which seems to be the administration’s strategy.”
• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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