House impeachment co-manager Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) predicted on Friday during the final day of presenting the case to the Senate that if President Donald Trump is not removed he’ll become “a dictator.”
Nadler based his argument on the president’s attempt to go to court to block House subpoenas to prevent lawmakers from requiring impeachment testimony from administration officials.
“President Trump is an outlier. He’s the first and only president ever to declare himself unaccountable and to ignore subpoenas backed by the Constitution’s impeachment power,” Nader claimed.
“If he is not removed from office, if he is permitted to defy the Congress entirely, categorically, to say that subpoenas from Congress in an impeachment inquiry are nonsense, then we will have lost — the House will have lost, the Senate certainly will have lost — all power to hold any president accountable,” Nadler — who is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee — continued.
“This is a determination by President Trump that he wants the be all-powerful, he does not have to respect the Congress, and he does not have to respect the representatives of the people and only his will goes,” the Democrat’s historic speech continued.
“He is a dictator!”
House Impeachment Manager Jerry Nadler to the 63 million Americans who voted for President @realDonaldTrump:
"He is a dictator. He must be removed from office." pic.twitter.com/O8a36m6GOu
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) January 24, 2020
Constitutional experts note that president often declare executive privilege to block administration testimony and other information from Congress.
“When Congress demands documents, presidents often have objections based on the inherent immunities or privileges of their office,” wrote Georgetown Law Prof. Jonathan Turley Friday.
“Both Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton were able not only to seek judicial review but also to take their appeals all the way to the Supreme Court before facing impeachment. Nixon soon resigned after losing that case,” Turley noted.
The House impeachment managers “lost this case before it began — not because of the Republican majority but because of the House managers’ own historic blunder in rushing the impeachment forward on an incomplete record,” he wrote in The Washington Post.
“The House destroyed any chance for an obstruction article when it made an impeachment by Christmas its overriding priority,” Turley added.
“The short period set by the House did not allow the White House to challenge a subpoena and effectively made the seeking of judicial review a ‘high crime and misdemeanor.'”