by WorldTribune Staff, October 14, 2019
Democrats have had conversations about having the House of Representatives sergeant-at-arms take uncooperative White House officials into custody, Rep. Rashida Tlaib said.
Tlaib, Michigan Democrat, said on Oct. 12 that Democrats have discussed jailing allies of President Donald Trump who do not comply with congressional subpoenas in the House’s impeachment inquiry.
“There have been actual serious conversations about what the logistics would look like . . . if we did have to force someone through a court order to come before the Congressional committee. This is pretty uncharted territory for many of us and even for Congress,” Tlaib told Deadline Detroit.
Dan Scanvio, the White House’s director of social media, tweeted: “Sounds about right. COUP!”
Trump responded to Scavino’s tweet with a short tweet of his own in which he called Tlaib “A despicable human being.”
A letter from White House counsel last week said that Trump officials would not cooperate with the impeachment probe in the Democratic-controlled House.
Tlaib’s comments came after Rep. John Garamendi, California Democrat, had called last week for uncooperative Trump officials to be detained.
“I think it’s time to call in the sergeant-at-arms and march them off to our little jail, which we do happen to have,” Garamendi said on Oct. 9. “Let them sit there and cool off for a while.”
If Trump officials were to be held in contempt, the House or Senate could have its sergeant-at-arms or a deputy of that person take someone into custody.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a speech at a Washington Post Live event, had previously joked about jailing uncooperative Trump officials.
“We do have a little jail down in the basement of the Capitol,” Pelosi said to audience laughter. “But if we were arresting all of the people in the administration, we would have overcrowded jail situation and I’m not for that.”
Trump, in comments on Oct. 12, noted that, when Republicans had the majority and Paul Ryan was House Speaker, nothing was done about deep state operatives and Democrats who refused to comply with subpoenas while Pelosi has no problem issuing subpoenas.
“We have great, great relationships with the people in the Republican Party. But they don’t fight dirty. As an example with subpoenas. You take a look at Paul Ryan when he was Speaker. He wouldn’t give em! I’m not even knocking him for that,” Trump said. “He wouldn’t give em. He thought it was inappropriate. Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, all of the guys wanted, Gaetz, all of them. Matt Gaetz. I could name 25 people. These are incredible people. They wanted subpoenas to investigate all of the corruption that they found. Horrible, horrible corruption. Paul Ryan would say, ‘Well, wait a minute, slow down. Let’s come back next week.’ They would come back, they wouldn’t get it. She hands them out like they’re cookies!”