December 28, 2018

In only a week, we'll watch as Democrats regain the House oversight authority.

"Democrats will of course gain control of the House for the first time in eight years. Republicans widen their majority in the Senate. In case you are wondering what Democrats plan to do in the house, CNN has learned committees are hiring the lawyers, laying the ground work for investigations," CNN New Day host Erin Walker said.

"All right. We want to bring in CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for the New York Times" Maggie Haberman," John Berman said. "You need to see this job posting. They're looking for people with legal expertise in criminal law, immigration law, constitutional law, intellectual property law, commercial and administrative law, including antitrust and bankruptcy and oversight work. They're looking for people with all this vast experience and oversight. Do you get the sense the president is ready for this?"

"No, I don't think the president is ready, and I don't think the White House, at this point, is ready. They might get ready," Haberman said.

"The White House counsel's office had been one of the areas that remained pretty well staffed, despite the hiring woes. the incoming White House counsel has done a lot of work to bulk it up. That doesn't mean that anyone in the White House or the president is psychically ready for what this means. If you talk to veterans of the Clinton White House, which is the last time you had this lengthy level of congressional oversight, the gears grind to a halt, it is exhausting on the staff, you typically have to bring in additional staff and wall them off to deal with it.

"There's not enough staff in the current White House for them to deal with this. I don't think a president who was very used to painting his own presidency understands how the ground is going to shift on January 3rd," she said.

"John, you pointed out earlier this morning this isn't necessarily just going to be about tax returns or Russia. But it could be we want to hold a hearing with the Armed Services committee to learn more about the decision to pull out of Syria," Walker said.

"I think if they only target the president and what looks like his personal life, his taxes, his business, bringing his children in to testify -- I think that actually could be a problem if that is where the bulk of the focus is, less on the tax returns than on his family and on the business. There is a lot that we know already they want to look at," she said, citing security clearances and immigration policy as examples.

"There are a number of issues that I think this White House just doesn't understand what's coming. The question is going to be how easily and readily, not just with the White House, but how do other departments respond to requests for information. Do they stall? Do they try to drag it out? We don't know. We're not in the area."

Haberman concluded by saying, "Look, there is always a risk like you are overreaching if you are in the majority. I think they will have to balance that with what is the legitimate duties of oversight."

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