Jim Jordan Knows What Is Illegal And It Is CONGRESS!
A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing, and Congressman Jim Jordan has a very, very little bit of knowledge. He may not be smart enough to realize that a doctor groping the genitals of wrestlers is a crime, but Jordan is pretty good at taking orders. So when the word came down that the newest GOP strategy requires everyone to jump up and down shouting CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATIONS ARE NOW ILLEGAL!!!!1!, Jim Jordan got right down to business.
Just this morning we told you about Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jordan encouraging Trump's accountants to flout a congressional subpoena because investigating Trump's financial documents is ILLEGAL. Last week he told Big Pharma execs not to cooperate with an ILLEGAL congressional investigation into drug pricing. And now he's trying to put an inquiry into vote suppression into a full nelson because, you guessed it, helping people vote is ILLEGAL.
It's almost enough to make us miss Trey Gowdy. But not quite.
Last month, Rep. Jamie Raskin sent letters to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asking what the hell is going on with their vote purges and how come so many people who got kicked off the rolls are brown. As Georgia secretary of state, Kemp managed to purge enough voters to shoehorn himself into the governor's mansion. And Texas just tried to illegally delete 58,000 voters by accident on purpose. Which puts them squarely in Congressman Raskin's sights as Chair of the Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Voting issues are very much his bag, baby.
But Jim Jordan is ready to throw his meaty carcass on that grenade. Here are the letters he sent to Kemp and Paxton instructing them to tell that pencil-neck Raskin to get bent because investigating state administration of elections is an ILLEGAL murder of the holy institution of federalism:
Although the chairmen's authority to investigate matters is broad, the Supreme Court has made clear that Congress is not "a law enforcement or trial agency" and that "[n]o inquiry is an end in itself; it must be related to, and in furtherance of, a legitimate task of the Congress." As we understand the focus of the chairmen's request, they are seeking information and material about state officials enforcing state law. As articulated by the chairmen, their inquiry does not appear to have a valid legislative purpose and instead seeks confidential communications among state officials, including state law enforcement officials, regarding the enforcement of state law. This inquiry also raises serious federalism concerns.
Which is more or less exactly what Ken Paxton did, sending a letter to Raskin saying, Yew ain't my daddy! and telling him he'd treat it as a public records request. And ooops, sorry, that's non-public information, so he's going to go right back to prosecuting those two ladies who voted illegally in Texas over the past decade. But have a blessed day.
Congress is not a law enforcement or trial agency? Where have we heard that language before ... Oh, right! It was the president's own personal lawyer William Consovoy who told Treasury not to hand Trump's tax returns over to the Ways and Means Committee because, "Congress has no constitutional authority to act like a junior-varsity IRS." Consovoy also told Trump's accountants to disregard an Oversight subpoena for his financial records on the grounds that "The House Oversight Committee is not a miniature Department of Justice, charged with investigating and prosecuting potential federal crimes." Gosh, it's almost like Jordan is coordinating his arguments with the White House to thwart all meaningful oversight in a Democratic-controlled congress. NO COLLUSION!
Obviously, this "illegal oversight" argument is complete bullshit, as Congressman Raskin pointed out:
The U.S. Congress has the power and obligation to enforce the voting rights of the people as spelled out in the 14th, 15th, 17th, 19th, and 24th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, a power we have exercised repeatedly in statutes like the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Americans with Disabilities Act to shut down state action hostile to democratic participation.
But it's especially egregious coming from a guy who spent the past five years pretending that Barack Obama was trying to murder Americans with health insurance while Hillary Clinton sold uranium to the Russians so they could use it to destroy the embassy in Benghazi.
For his part, Raskin has already had it up to here with that flaming sack of crap in a singlet:
My indignant colleagues should review prior letters the Oversight Committee sent in parallel correspondence to Democratic state officials in Rhode Island, Maryland, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Minnesota, Colorado, Connecticut, and Nevada in 2014 when the GOP-led Committee was conducting an oversight investigation into the Affordable Care Act (a federal law which they still seek to destroy). In these letters, then-Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and then-Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan articulated the decisive refutation to today's frivolous argument: 'The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is the principal oversight committee of the House of Representatives and has broad authority to investigate 'any matter at 'any time' under House Rule X.'
It would be best if our GOP colleagues joined us in protecting voting rights, but at the very least they should stop trying to prevent us from doing our constitutionally-mandated work. Far from raising the 'federalism concerns' of Reps. Jordan, Hice, Cloud, and Roy, this is serious federalism in action. Our colleagues should get used to it.
Raskin forgot the legislative purpose of whatever it was Diamond and Silk were getting to the bottom of, which is why he cannot write for your Wonkette. Still, we are very much looking forward to getting used to real oversight and functional congress that does more than cover Trump's wrinkly orange ass as he sells the country off for parts. And it would be a damn shame if the House Ethics Committee had to launch an investigation of Rep. Jordan for obstructing Congress and violating House rules. Paging Congressman Deutch ....
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.