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GOP senator: Trump is just 'trying to negotiate' when he obstructs justice

Cory Gardner defends Trump’s attempts to ignore congressional subpoenas and obstruct the House investigation into Trump’s criminal activity.

By Dan Desai Martin - May 07, 2019
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO)

Legal experts say Trump could provoke a constitutional crisis by demanding that no White House officials cooperate with congressional investigations into Trump’s possible criminal activity.

But to Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), these efforts by Trump and the White House to obstruct justice are merely “negotiating positions.”

“Now the president has said, ‘I’m not going to cooperate with the House.’ Is that a viable position?” host Craig Silverman asked Gardner in a Saturday interview with Colorado radio station KNUS 710-AM.

Rather than stand up for Congress as a co-equal branch of government, Gardner defended Trump’s position.

“I think you are seeing a bit of — sort of negotiating positions by both the Democratic majority in the House, and by the administration,” Gardner said. “And I think part of this public discussion is giving time for the private discussions to occur — on how the committee hearing would work or what testimony is allowed to move forward. So I think that is exactly how they are trying to negotiate.”

Trump isn’t negotiating; he’s stonewalling.

He went so far as to tell the Washington Post that he sees “no reason” for any current or former White House staffers to respond to requests from Congress. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, said he agrees with the strategy to “fight everything.”

“It appears that the president believes that the Constitution does not apply to his White House, that he may order officials at will to violate their legal obligations, and that he may obstruct attempts by Congress to conduct oversight,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said in April after Trump refused to allow a former White House staffer to testify before Congress.

As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pointed out on Tuesday, one of the articles of impeachment against former President Nixon was his decision to ignore congressional subpoenas.

“Every day [Trump is] obstructing justice by saying this one should testify; that one shouldn’t testify,” Pelosi told an audience at Cornell University.

Even though Gardner is one of the Senate’s most vulnerable incumbents facing a tough reelection battle in an increasingly blue state, he still refuses to show any daylight between himself and Trump and has already endorsed Trump for the 2020 election.

Even when Trump openly defies Congress to insist no one on his staff cooperate with lawful subpoenas, Gardner sees it as no big deal.

The decision to side with Trump over the U.S. Constitution is part of a pattern for Gardner. Earlier this year, Gardner sided with Trump’s decision to declare a fake national emergency to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Gardner’s hometown paper blasted him for this, arguing that he had “failed the test” of how to respond to “a constitutional crisis.”

Gardner, it seems, would rather defend Trump than the rule of law.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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