House Majority Leader threatening to hold all Trump allies who defy subpoenas in contempt of Congress: 'This is a huge cover-up'
Although House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to voice her opposition to impeaching President Donald Trump — much to the chagrin of pro-impeachment House Democrats — she is very much in favor of aggressive House investigations of the president. And House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is threatening to hold all Trump officials who have defied House subpoenas in contempt of Congress next week.
One of the people in danger of being held in contempt of Congress is former White House Communications Hope Hicks, who the Trump White House has ordered to defy a House Judiciary Committee subpoena. Hicks, however, has expressed some willingness to cooperate with the Committee and has already provided some of the documents that Rep. Jerry Nadler (chairman of the Committee) has requested. Nadler has described Hicks’ actions as an act of “good faith” and indicated that he will continue to negotiate with her as well as with Annie Donaldson, a top aide to former White House Counsel Don McGahn and another recipient of a House subpoena.
Hoyer, speaking to reporters this week, said of Hicks and other Trump allies who might defy subpoenas, “This is the way to enforce the subpoena and to compel witnesses to testify that we have a constitutional responsibility — not just authority, but a constitutional responsibility — to get information on the operations of the people’s government that the American people should have. And if the administration and the president take the position, ‘We’re not going to cooperate,’ that's untenable and unacceptable. And we’re going to move forward to try to enforce that, and this is the first but important step.”
Hoyer is also hoping that former Special Counsel Robert Mueller will voluntarily testify before Congress but is willing to subpoena him if need be.
Mueller, Hoyer told reporters this week, “may want a subpoena, for all I know. The Judiciary Committee, I know, is talking to Mr. Mueller — and hopefully, they’ll reach an agreement. But he may want a subpoena, in which case, I think we ought to issue a subpoena. If he won’t testify, I think we ought to issue a subpoena anyway, personally.”
Hoyer also told journalists that Trump is attempting a “huge cover-up” by trying to keep members of Congress from obtaining information they have a constitutional right to pursue.
The House majority leader asserted, “I say this is a huge cover-up because the president has not said, ‘You're not entitled to this information.’ He said it’s political. Well, that’s not his judgment to make.”