Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Live,” Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) called on Congress to enact their powers of “inherent contempt” on Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin for stonewalling congressional investigations.
Speier raised the possibility of President Donald Trump in potential violation the emoluments clause of the Constitution by profiting off foreign officials staying at his properties.
Speier said, “I think this becomes an easier play to the American people in terms of impeachment. They understand when someone is ripping them off as taxpayers. And so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Judiciary Committee starts to move down this road. Meanwhile, we have inherent contempt. I am one of those that believes that rather than go through the court system, which could take another year before we ever get the tax return, we can hold Steve Mnuchin, the Secretary of the Treasury in contempt. We can hold Wilbur Ross in contempt. In so doing, you come before the House, and we can start fining them. There’s nothing that moves people more than starting to slap, you know, $25,000 a day for not coming before Congress and testifying. Our oversight responsibility is very clear in the Constitution.”
She added, “We’ve never exercised our authority under inherent contempt. It’s something that was used in early 1900s through 1930 actually, and I think we should resurrect it. There is just such an obvious effort to evade every effort that we have undertaken to investigate these very serious issues.”
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