Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Defense Secretary Mark Esper will not comply with a subpoena from House Democrats related to their impeachment inquiry, according to a letter sent Tuesday to Democratic leadership from the Department of Defense. This is a shift from just days ago when Esper indicated he was willing to work with Democrats on the inquiry.

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In the letter to the chairmen of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees, the Pentagon cites a "number of legal and practical concerns" as their reason for not complying. They include the House not officially voting to authorize an impeachment inquiry and that some of the information the House is requesting "appears to consist of confidential Executive Branch communications that are potentially protected by executive privilege."

In the letter sent Tuesday, the Department of Defense pushed back on the notion that failure to comply would constitute obstruction of justice. "Invoking reasonable legal defense to a subpoena, including invoking legal privileges that are held by the President, in no way manifests evidence of obstruction of otherwise warrants an adverse inference," the letter reads.

Good luck with that Secretary Esper:
The House of Representatives ... shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

" Article I, Section 2, Clause 5

Seems pretty cut and dried. And nowhere does the Constitution say that the Executive branch has the ability to define what is and isn't an impeachment inquiry, precedence be damned.

Bring on the contempt and obstruction charges.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-16 08:36 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 6

This fellow, like so many others, won't have his job in thirteen months.

#2 | Posted by Zed at 2019-10-16 08:48 AM | Reply

I love how they claim executive privilege in an investigation of a criminal act.

They do love them a dictator, don't they?

#3 | Posted by jpw at 2019-10-16 09:02 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Probably Trump's latest crazy actions, like pulling our troops out of northern Syria and thereby causing the slauter of our allies has something to do with his refusal, he doesn't want to have to testify about the irrational decisions Trump is making. And it is more than a criminal act now, it is treason. Esper should go down with Trump.

#4 | Posted by danni at 2019-10-16 09:25 AM | Reply

Thrown his ass in prison. Have him share a cell with Big Bubba Rodgers and see if he has a change of heart. If he doesn't, at least Big Bubba gets a new girlfriend.

#5 | Posted by aborted_monson at 2019-10-16 09:32 AM | Reply

"We are a country of Laws"

said not a single "conservative" since Trump was elected

#6 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2019-10-16 10:59 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

All these people defying subpoenas just goes to prove their innocence... the more defiance.. the more innocent they are.
-DRs law enforcement people

#7 | Posted by 503jc69 at 2019-10-16 12:17 PM | Reply

The executive branch is proving how worthless the legislative branch has become.

#8 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-10-16 12:24 PM | Reply

#8.. and why the Justice department should not be under executive branch

#9 | Posted by 503jc69 at 2019-10-16 12:30 PM | Reply

the Justice department should not be under executive branch

Completely agree. If recent history has proven anything, it's how easily manipulated the process can become. It's a horrible process.

#10 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-10-16 12:32 PM | Reply

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The executive branch is proving how worthless the legislative branch has become.

The Legislative Branch has power and worth. They're just choosing not to use it at this time. Blame leadership, not the institution itself.

#11 | Posted by JOE at 2019-10-16 12:43 PM | Reply

Blame leadership, not the institution itself.

The institution is failing because of the leadership.

You have the senate actively supporting the executive branch's perversion of our democracy, which includes the destruction of the judiciary branch.

And you have the HoR which is sitting on its hands doing nothing while a handful of junior members are getting ripped apart by the Republican Party for being women of color with opinions.

No. The institutions are failing. Because the leadership wants it to.

The confederate party never was fond of the federal government.

They're busy dismantling it.

#12 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-10-16 12:49 PM | Reply

This guy has an interesting approach to upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States!

#13 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-10-16 01:37 PM | Reply

Congress should have a couple of these cowards put into general population at DC Central Detention. A few hours among friends and they will talk--so will all others who heretofore have been unwilling...

#14 | Posted by catdog at 2019-10-16 01:45 PM | Reply

"We are a country of Laws" - #6 | POSTED BY CHIEFTUTMOSES

You spelled "lies" wrong, we are a country of "lies".
Happy to help.

#15 | Posted by Sezu at 2019-10-16 01:51 PM | Reply

#14

That is the problem...they can't, as I have explained on other threads, Congress' Sgt. at Arms has extremely limited jurisdiction outside of the Capitol Grounds to arrest anyone.

Just ask Eric Holder and William Barr how concerned they were that they were going to be arrested for Contempt of Congress.

#16 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-10-16 02:03 PM | Reply

#16 As i've stated in every thread you post that in, the failure to arrest Barr and Holder for contempt is a political calculation, not a legal one.

The House used to exercise its inherent contempt powers more regularly. Ask William P. MacCracken Jr. how funny he thought it was.

#17 | Posted by JOE at 2019-10-16 02:14 PM | Reply

#17

Except for the fact that William P. MacCraken Jr. willingly submitted to custody in 1935. Neither Holder nor Barr have done so, and there isn't much that the Sgt. at Arms can do about it.

#18 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-10-16 03:09 PM | Reply

William P. MacCraken

Please tell me the middle initial is "Phil".

#19 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-10-16 03:47 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Fine. Ask Robert Randall, William Duane, John Anderson, Patrick Wood, and everyone else arrested by the Sargeant at Arms. Or just keep pretending to be ignorant.

#20 | Posted by JOE at 2019-10-16 03:48 PM | Reply

and there isn't much that the Sgt. at Arms can do about it.

#18 | POSTED BY RIGHTOCENTER

Which will make me smile even that much biglier when they snag one of those Colluders and Obstructors and put them into the little holding cell in the basement.

#21 | Posted by donnerboy at 2019-10-16 04:01 PM | Reply

The little jail.

www.rollcall.com

#22 | Posted by donnerboy at 2019-10-16 04:01 PM | Reply

Look at ROC trying to predict the future based on the past. . These are not normal times. You cannot predict the future based on past precedents anymore. Trump has challenged all precedents and has changed what is normal. SO MUCH CONTEMPT for the rule of law.

If we are making predictions then I predict someone WILL be arrested and jailed for contempt . Before this is all over.

#23 | Posted by donnerboy at 2019-10-16 04:06 PM | Reply

Robert Randall about 1795

William Duane about 1800

John Anderson about 1821

Patrick Wood about 1870

Got anything in the last 80 years or so?

#24 | Posted by et_al at 2019-10-16 04:21 PM | Reply

#24 Got anything since then that says the rules are different today? An unused power is still a power.

#25 | Posted by JOE at 2019-10-16 04:34 PM | Reply

Got anything in the last 80 years or so?

#24 | POSTED BY ET_AL AT 2019-10-16 04:21 PM | FLAG:

Tyrants aren't that common here. Yet.

#26 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2019-10-16 04:54 PM | Reply

#25

A power unused is no power at all. It is but an "unseemly" vestige of a long foregone era.

#27 | Posted by et_al at 2019-10-16 05:00 PM | Reply

No serious person thinks the House doesn't have inherent contempt power. It's been repeatedly upheld by our highest court. To see a lawyer pretend otherwise is humorous, but not worth my time.

#28 | Posted by JOE at 2019-10-16 05:05 PM | Reply

#28

Nice straw man you erected to humor yourself. Enjoy!

#29 | Posted by et_al at 2019-10-16 05:34 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Oh, you're one of those "i wasnt really arguing on behalf of that thing i was arguing on behalf of" guys? Good to know i can lump you in with --------.

#30 | Posted by JOE at 2019-10-16 06:18 PM | Reply

Et_Al is probably the most circumspect person here about never, ever taking a side.

#31 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-10-16 06:25 PM | Reply

"Good to know i can lump you in with --------.

#30 | POSTED BY JOE "

Why, what a surprise. The guy who whines about other people derailing a thread with trolling is....derailing a thread with trolling! Again!

Do as you say, not as you do, right Joe? Second time today.

#32 | Posted by goatman at 2019-10-16 06:33 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#30

Lookee here, Joe erected another straw man. Isn't that cute. He's such a good boy.

One day he'll learn to entertain more than thought in his head at a time, something they teach in law school.

Like, Congress has a power.

Like, Congress has not used that power in the last eighty years.

Like, that Congressional power is useless.

Hang in there, Joe.

#33 | Posted by et_al at 2019-10-17 02:16 AM | Reply

"Like, Congress has a power.
Like, Congress has not used that power in the last eighty years.
Like, that Congressional power is useless."

Sorry, haven't really been keeping up.
This revers to the War Powers clause?

#34 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-10-17 02:19 AM | Reply

"A power unused is no power at all. It is but an "unseemly" vestige of a long foregone era.
#27 | POSTED BY ET_AL"

Really? Damn, Nixon could have used you on his legal team. Who knew that Congress's power to impeach was actually not a power at all, just an unseemly vestige, because they hadn't used it in some (unspecified?) amount of time.

What a maroon.

#35 | Posted by mOntecOre at 2019-10-17 01:07 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Real lawyers know that if a subpoena seeks testimony and/or documents, the fact (argument?) that some of that testimony or documentation might be privileged does not give the target of the subpoena the right to simply ignore it.

(Hopefully, Esper's lawyers are aware of the well-established Et Al Doctrine: "A power unused for 80 or more years means the power is useless." (This clause is actually in Latin, but I translated it for the laypeople and Internet Lawyers who hang here. You're welcome.))

#36 | Posted by mOntecOre at 2019-10-17 01:12 PM | Reply | Funny: 3

Under Et_al's "logic," if i have the deed and keys to my summer home but i never go there, i no longer have a summer home.

Yes, i might go there and see the driveway is overgrown with grass, and find goatman inside sleeping on the floor in a puddle of his own urine, but it's still my house.

#37 | Posted by JOE at 2019-10-17 01:25 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

Strawman is that congress needs to impeach someone every once in a while or lose the power to do so. Just admit you're wrong.

#38 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2019-10-17 01:35 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Yes, i might go there and see the driveway is overgrown with grass, and find goatman inside sleeping on the floor in a puddle of his own urine, but it's still my house.

#37 | POSTED BY JOE "

Oh, look! The quy who whines about me hijacking threads and trolling is...hijacking the thread and trolling! And for the third time in two days.

Do as you say, and not as you do -- right Joe?

Gee, I wonder where all the proggies are who whine about this sort of thing? Why aren't they whining about Joe as they do me? Their silence strongly suggests they are OK with hijacking threads and trolling as long as it is a fellow proggie.

Why are you such a raging hypocrite, Joe?

#39 | Posted by goatman at 2019-10-17 03:45 PM | Reply

#39 Show proof of me "whining about you hijacking threads" or STFU, liar.

And I didn't hijack any thread - including a jab at someone in an otherwise substantive post is not hijacking or trolling.

Keep swinging (and missing) old man.

#40 | Posted by JOE at 2019-10-17 03:59 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Keep swinging (and missing) old man.

#40 | POSTED BY JOE"

Who said I missed? Oh, you did.

If it wasn't for self declared victories, you'd have none at all.

#41 | Posted by goatman at 2019-10-17 04:08 PM | Reply

And the cheering section roars.

Then, reality is the uselessness.

#42 | Posted by et_al at 2019-10-18 03:28 AM | Reply

Et Al is pointing out how Trump is a dictator and Congress is a vestigial remnant of a government created centuries ago.

#43 | Posted by ClownShack at 2019-10-18 03:43 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Under Et_al's "logic," if i have the deed and keys to my summer home but i never go there, i no longer have a summer home.
#37 | POSTED BY JOE

No, Joe, my logic says your eighty years of neglect renders your summer home useless.

Of course, you can resurrect it but sticking a key in the door and expecting usefulness is useless.

Let me know when something useful along these lines starts happening. We can talk then.

#44 | Posted by et_al at 2019-10-18 03:49 AM | Reply

--A potentia, vesci licitum est pro LXXX annis, aut in virtute esse inutilem.

--Et al.
_____________________________________________________________________________

--A power unused for 80 or more years means the power is useless.

~~U.S. Code 509, Alternate Dimension Version~~

#45 | Posted by madscientist at 2019-10-18 07:58 AM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

:>)

#46 | Posted by madscientist at 2019-10-18 08:00 AM | Reply

The House of Representatives ... shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
" Article I, Section 2, Clause 5

Seems pretty cut and dried. And nowhere does the Constitution say that the Executive branch has the ability to define what is and isn't an impeachment inquiry, precedence be damned.
Bring on the contempt and obstruction charges.
#1 | POSTED BY TONYROMA

The key word is House.

The Democratic Party acting on its own does not constitute the House.

I'm looking forward to see how the Democrats enforce their subpoenas.

#47 | Posted by Ray at 2019-10-18 08:11 AM | Reply

I'm reminded of the Sherlock Holmes case of the dog that didn't bark.

The Republican minority on House committees are noticeably silent.
That makes it all the more look like a partisan attack on Trump.

#48 | Posted by Ray at 2019-10-18 08:37 AM | Reply

my logic says your eighty years of neglect renders your summer home useless.

Do Constitutional powers recognized by our Supreme Court deteriorate over time where there's been no countervailing authority on the issue?

I remember when i was a litigator, arguing about issues that had been settled law for over 100 years. There were no recent cases about those issues because nobody was stupid enough to argue about them anymore. And every time an opposing attorney's argument was "your Honor, that case is 100 years old," he'd be laughed out of the courtroom.

#49 | Posted by JOE at 2019-10-18 10:40 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

"That makes it all the more look like a partisan attack on Trump.
#48 | POSTED BY RAY"

Nah. It makes it look like they have no viable defense to the charges against him.

#50 | Posted by mOntecOre at 2019-10-18 03:26 PM | Reply

Nah. It makes it look like they have no viable defense to the charges against him.
#50 | POSTED BY MONTECORE

That's one way to look at it.

The other way is that they have no viable proof against him.

Unless the the Democrats present their evidence for a full house vote, the charges are going nowhere in Congress.
Then it's up to the voters.

#51 | Posted by Ray at 2019-10-18 03:39 PM | Reply

"The key word is House.
The Democratic Party acting on its own does not constitute the House"

Hey JeffJ:
How about the Republican Party acting on its own?
Asking for Bill Clinton.

#52 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-10-18 03:43 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Unless the the Democrats present their evidence for a full house vote

That's a canard.
Not required. The subpoena are legal.
If there was a vote, there'd be no additional compliance anyway.
There'd just be some other excuse.

Besides, that's a non-Sequitur. That's not even the context in which Montecore referenced. The Republican minority on House committees being silent isn't related to any House vote.

MadScientist - so glad you've made a few appearances lately!

#53 | Posted by YAV at 2019-10-18 03:50 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

(I know, shame on me for going back to the point of the actual article)

#54 | Posted by YAV at 2019-10-18 03:53 PM | Reply

#53 | POSTED BY YAV

See my posts on #47 & #48.

#55 | Posted by Ray at 2019-10-18 04:03 PM | Reply

#49

I remember a case of mine, in about 2005, where there were only two Texas cases that approached the obscure but controlling issue. One from the late 1800's and one from the 1950's citing the prior case. The Texas Supreme Court just ignored both of them, like they didn't exist.

So, my anecdote cancels yours. Any more side roads you wish to travel?

#56 | Posted by et_al at 2019-10-18 04:57 PM | Reply

Ray, I saw and reference and quoted from 47 and 48.
The House determined and gave the ability to issue subpoena to the Committees.
It is a fait accompli.

#57 | Posted by YAV at 2019-10-18 05:11 PM | Reply

#56 so because you experienced a crap decision...all decisions are crap? Does ignoring case law really support your position or just bring up a different problem of crappy judges?

#58 | Posted by jpw at 2019-10-18 05:24 PM | Reply

"So, my anecdote cancels yours. Any more side roads you wish to travel?
#56 | POSTED BY ET_AL"

That is seriously one of the dumbest things I've seen a lawyer write, and that's saying something. Are you sure you passed the bar?

#59 | Posted by mOntecOre at 2019-10-18 06:21 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#53 Thank you, Yav. What a gracious thing to say. :>)

#60 | Posted by madscientist at 2019-10-19 09:03 AM | Reply

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