Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib told a group of her Detroit constituents that her Democratic colleagues were trying to determine how they could arrest Trump administration officials for what they claim is noncompliance with the law.
“This is the first time we’ve ever had a situation like this,” Tlaib said per the Washington Free Beacon. “So they’re trying to figure out, no joke, is it the D.C. police that goes and gets them? We don’t know. Where do we hold them?”
She went on to say her party members were “trying to tread carefully” as the effort is “uncharted territory.”
The Capitol Police, who enforce the law and provide security for members of Congress, operates under the legislative branch and under the discretion of Congress. According to the congresswoman, Democratic members are intending to find a way this security force can be used to drag in administration members.
“I will tell them they can hold all those people right here in Detroit,” the Democratic congresswoman joked per the report. “We’ll take care of them and make sure they show up to the committee hearings.”
From the Washington Free Beacon:
An America Rising PAC tracker caught Tlaib on video speculating what could happen to Trump administration officials held in contempt of Congress. The congresswoman pointed to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Attorney General William Barr, who were both held in criminal contempt of Congress for defying congressional subpoenas.
The House of Representatives voted to ask the Justice Department to prosecute Barr and Ross by a margin of 230 to 198. It was the second time in U.S. history a sitting cabinet member was held in criminal contempt of Congress. The first was former attorney general Eric Holder, whom the Republican-controlled House held in contempt in 2012 after Holder refused to turn over documents pertaining to the Operation Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal.
The noncompliance claim is rooted in Trump administration officials rejecting congressional subpoenas for testimonies and documents concerning impeachment.
According to the report, Trump administration officials, including Barr, do not believe they are obligated to comply with the requests as the House never formally voted to initiate an impeachment inquiry:
With the House’s impeachment inquiry underway, questions remain as to how House Democrats will compel the Trump administration to cooperate.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent a letter to Congress on Tuesday informing lawmakers that State Department officials would not be testifying in front of congressional committees. He characterized subpoena efforts as an “attempt to intimidate, bully, and treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State.”