Last Dec. 23, Donald Trump’s lawyers made an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court to request that it quash the subpoenas to testify sent by the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 incidents on Capitol Hill, noting that a previous case, the Supreme Court warned Democrats that they cannot use their office to persecute their political opponents.
One year after the Jan. 6, 2021, incidents on Capitol Hill, in which several dozen Trump supporters forced their way onto the Congressional grounds to disrupt election certification, efforts by Democrats to hold the former president himself accountable for the assault continue, all despite the fact that:
– They impeached Trump in which he was acquitted. Even the ‘evidence’ presented to frame Trump by Rep. Adam Schiff was manipulated.
– There was an extensive FBI investigation that found no evidence that the event was coordinated or planned.
Nevertheless, the select committee of representatives created to investigate the incidents – whose makeup violates the very rules of the House by not including the proper number of Republicans, not to mention that the two Republican members were chosen by Speaker Pelosi – have continued to move forward with that goal in mind and in the last month subpoenaed several former Trump officials and also requested confidential documentation from the former president’s administration.
Trump’s legal team tried to block Democrats from accessing confidential documents from his administration and advised the former officials not to come forward to testify, citing executive privilege which was designed to protect state secrets. But the federal courts rejected his arguments and now the final word rests with the Supreme Court.
But why has Trump repeatedly called the Democrats’ attempts to subpoena his former officials and access to his documentation a ‘political witch hunt’?
According to a Free Beacon analysis, in the emergency appeal Trump’s lawyers made to the Supreme Court they used statements made to the press by several of the members of the Select Committee investigating the January 6 incidents, pointing out that the intention behind the committee is only to politically damage Trump, which exceeds the limits of their duties as congressmen.
Two years ago, Democrats wanted to frame Trump for tax evasion and tried to access the former president’s financial records, but the Supreme Court blocked the lawmakers from moving forward, telling them they had to prove that accessing such records was for the purpose of drafting legislation.
Congressional committees cannot “expose for the sake of exposing,” the Supreme Court said, nor can they act as a law enforcement agency and use subpoenas to judge whether someone did something wrong.
Regardless of legal precedent, however, both Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Liz Cheney and Adam Schiff told reporters that the committee seeks to ‘expose’ alleged abuses and hold perpetrators accountable and also suggested that Trump committed criminal acts in connection with the Capitol assault.
“All [the committee] can do is expose all the malefactors, follow the evidence, wherever it leads, tell the American people the story of what went into January 6th, all the planning that went into it, who was behind it in terms of the money,” Schiff said on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Schiff’s appearance on Seth Meyers’ show was to promote his book on democracy in the Trump era, dismissing that the Supreme Court warned lawmakers that “investigations conducted solely for the personal aggrandizement of investigators” are never allowed.
Congress does not have “general power to probe into private matters and compel disclosure,” and “there is no congressional power to expose for the sake of exposure,” Trump’s lawyers wrote in the emergency appeal, citing the court’s decision in Trump v. Mazars.
“[The committee] has not identified a clear legislative purpose in the present effort,” Trump’s appeal reads. “Instead, the additional material it seeks to uncover seems focused on political exposure, not towards addressing security flaws that are easily uncovered through documents and testimony from security officers and experts.”
Before the end of January, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on Trump’s appeal and it could well be the end of the Democrats’ ‘political witch hunt’ or the beginning of a practice that will eliminate the concept of ‘state secrets’ forever.