President Donald Trump has decided to cease cooperating with what he sees, not incorrectly, as a Beltway conspiracy that is out to destroy him.
“We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” Trump said Wednesday. “These aren’t, like, impartial people. The Democrats are out to win in 2020.”
Thus the Treasury Department just breezed by a deadline from the House Ways and Means Committee to deliver Trump’s tax returns.
Thus the White House will invoke executive privilege to deny the House Judiciary Committee access to ex-White House counsel Don McGahn, who spent 30 hours being interrogated by Robert Mueller’s team.
Thus the Justice Department is withholding from the Oversight Committee subpoenaed documents dealing with the decision to include a question on the 2020 Census about citizenship status.
Across the capital, the barricades are going up figuratively as they did physically in the 1960s and ’70s. Once more, it’s us against them.
Cognizant of the new reality, Trump seems to be saying:
These House investigations constitute a massive political assault, in collusion with a hostile media, to destroy my presidency.
We do not intend to cooperate in our own destruction. We are not going to play our assigned role in this scripted farce. We will resist their subpoenas all the way to November 2020. Let the people then decide the fate and future of the Trump presidency — and that of Nancy Pelosi’s House.
In response to Trump’s resort to massive resistance, Rep. Gerald Connolly said: “A respect for the limits of your branch of government, a respect for the role of other branches of government, is sort of the oil that makes the machinery work. …
Absent that this breaks down. And I think we’re definitely seeing that.”
Connolly is not wrong. But the requisite mutual respect between the Democratic House and the Republican White House simply does not exist. It broke down a long time ago.
The campaign of 2020 is on. And the stakes are huge. Not only are the first and second branches of government in play, so, too, is the third, the Supreme Court. Many Democrats, refusing to accept the success of the 50-year conservative long march to capture the court,