Rep. Steve Chabot @RepSteveChabot 05.17.2019
SPECTRUM NEWS 1: Ohio Republicans Support Witness Ignoring Subpoena
BY TAYLOR POPIELARZ
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two Ohio Republicans who sit on the House Judiciary Committee support a former White House counsel’s decision to ignore a subpoena to testify before them.
On Tuesday, former counsel Don McGahn became the second witness in three weeks to disregard a subpoena and not show up to publicly testify.
Democrats are furious about it and claim President Trump is doing everything he can to obstruct investigations into his White House and business.
But Representatives Steve Chabot (R-01) and Jim Jordan (R-04), who sit on the judiciary committee, told Spectrum News that Democrats are making a big deal over nothing and that the White House is doing the right thing.
“I think they’re on firm legal grounds at this point in time; ultimately the courts are likely to determine that,” said Chabot, who has served on the committee for 23 years. “But I think this committee, in particular, is wasting tremendous amounts of time and taxpayer dollars.”
Jordan said this McGahn episode is the Democrats’ latest attempt to keep pushing what he considers to be illegitimate oversight.
“The real point here, I think, is the Democrats — this is a complete circus,” Jordan said. “This is a coordinated attack on the president…[Attorney General] Bill Barr has said there was a crisis of leadership at the upper echelon of the FBI. That’s what we need to get to the bottom of. That’s the most important investigation that should be taking place right now and is starting under Bill Barr’s leadership.”
McGahn’s name on a piece of paper is all that showed up to Tuesday’s hearing.
The White House had instructed McGahn to ignore a subpoena to testify about what he knows about the special counsel’s investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice.
It has become the latest reason some Democrats are now calling for the beginning of impeachment proceedings. And Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash tweeted over the weekend that he now believes Trump committed impeachable offenses.
Spectrum Washington reporter Taylor Popielarz asked Jordan and Chabot if Amash’s statement will have any impact on other House Republicans.
“Not at all,” Jordan said. “Not at all. We strongly disagree with what Justin said and I think the Democrats are going to proceed on their coordinated attack on the president with their secret memorandums of understanding, regardless of what Mr. Amash may or may not have said.”
Amash is part of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which Jordan is a lead member of.
Chabot echoed what Jordan said.
“I don’t think Amash’s decision will impact anybody else, really,” he said. “He’s kind of an outlier on many things. There have been a lot of votes here where it’s 400 and some to two or three, and he’s generally one of the two or three, so I don’t think you’re going to see any Republicans following him in this. He’s entitled to his opinion, but I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere.”
Popielarz also asked Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) what he thought of Amash’s decision to start talking about impeachment.
“I think you’ll hear more of that from Republicans that are honest about it,” Brown said. “[Amash] read the Mueller report. I think if you read the Mueller report you know that there were a lot of activities between the Russian government and Russian nationals and the Trump family and the Trump campaign. And it’s disturbing that so many Republican politicians continue to defend those kinds of actions.”
Brown said he personally still does not think impeachment is the right answer. He instead wants to see Trump get voted out of office in 2020.
But Brown said Special Counsel Mueller needs to testify about his findings. And he said every member of Congress should read the full Mueller report.