Renowned Constitutional Law Professor Jonathan Turley warned House Democrats during testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
He stated that if they continue to escalate their battle with Attorney General Bill Barr concerning access to the unredacted Mueller Report, they are sure to lose in court.
The acclaimed George Washington University Law Professor was grilled by lawmakers along with other legal scholars invited to Capitol Hill to give their expert opinion regarding executive privilege and congressional oversight.
Turley stated that while he generally tends to give weight to congressional power, holding the Attorney General in contempt of Congress, for following the law is simply ludicrous.
“You are heading into a world of hurt if you go to the D.C. Circuit,” Turley warned.
House Democrats voted to hold Barr in contempt after the Attorney General made clear to the lawmakers that “by law” he was legally prohibited in releasing unredacted and underlying materials. Professor Turley pointed out that the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure do not allow Barr to disclose the secret grand jury information that was redacted in the previously released version.
Moreover, this very issue was recently adjudicated by the D.C. Circuit court stating in the case of McKeever v. Barr that, outside of the specific exceptions outlined in Rule 6(e), courts do not have authority to order the disclosure of grand jury information.
Turley also noted that any legal action against the Attorney General for contempt would most likely wind up before the D.C. Circuit, adding that going down that road by House Democrats would be a bad idea for Congress.
The professor added, “There’s no question that he cannot release this Rule 6(e) information.”
Turley also cautioned House Democrats not to embark on a political fishing expedition, by foolishly challenging the President’s constitutional mandate regarding certain matters of executive privilege, which President Trump has invoked in an attempt to keep the Mueller material secret.
For example, Turley warned Democrats not to challenge Trump’s assertion of executive privilege concerning information shared with the Special Counsel’s Office, because it’s a part of the executive branch of government.
“I strongly encourage you not to make that argument in federal court,” he said.
House Democrats of course attempt to make the case that the President is obstructing their efforts to learn more about the Russian investigation, despite the fact that the President never invoked any executive privileges during the entire two years of the Mueller probe, which was his right. Moreover, every piece of information and or witness the special conceal requested from the White House was made available.
Nevertheless portly New York congressmen Jerrold Nadler ratcheted up the hyperbole claiming that America was in the midst of a constitutional crisis, saying “We did not relish doing this, but we have no choice, we’ve talked for a long time about approaching a constitutional crisis. We are now in it.”
Former United States Attorney for the District of Columbia Joe diGenova weighted in on Nadler’s absurd claim stating, “contempt, Constitutional crisis? The only “crisis” happening in the Washington, D.C. swamp is that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler is trying to turn Capitol Hill into an opposition-research shop for the Democratic Party.”
Adding, “Let’s make something absolutely clear. There is no crisis in Washington, constitutional or otherwise, apart from the Democrats’ increasing detachment from reality.”