April 25, 2019

CNN's New Day panel picks apart Trump's strategy in stonewalling House subpoenas for White House staffers, past and present.

"What about that argument that David Gregory points out, which is exactly what President Trump seized on. 'Let's stop this. We don't want it to be this interminable, Don McGahn testified for 30 hours. We're done,' " Alysin Camerota asked Nia-Malika Henderson.

"That doesn't have anything to do with Stephen Miller coming before Congress. It doesn't have anything to do with somebody coming before Congress and talking about the census and changing the census and adding a citizenship question. It seems they are taking it much further than essentially saying folks involved in the Mueller investigation shouldn't come before Congress. This is basically drawing a red line, so far at least on any requests that the House is making to hear from folks in the Trump administration about certain policies. I think if you are a Democrat, you're hoping you can get other folks, other documents that don't necessarily have anything to do with this White House. Deutsche Bank, maybe. You saw them cooperating with SDNY. Perhaps cooperating as well with the Oversight committee and the House," Henderson said.

"But we saw flashes of this as David Gregory pointed out, with other administrations. This line in the sand and really a stonewalling on pretty major issues. Immigration policy and what Stephen Miller would have to say about that. As well as the census. These are major issues. I get that Donald Trump likes to be in the fight. But you imagine that, okay, Stephen Miller comes before a House committee, there's a fight and an explanation of what they think the policy should be on immigration reform and why would that be bad? They are making an argument for why it should happen. I don't know why that would be a bad thing for the Trump administration," she said.

"And the president is making the excuse for not cooperating on issues surrounding obstruction because the Mueller report already did it. Well, the Mueller report explicitly says that Congress is the one that gets to decide on these issues," John Berman said.

"Right. He, of course, is saying, 'Wait, wait. Bill Barr exonerated me from obstruction of justice even if Robert Mueller did not. You're right to point it out," David Chalian, CNN's political director, said.

"It is in black and white in Bob Mueller's report, pointing out the evidence collected and detailed for congress to take a look at, preserving information for other future, perhaps legal action down the road. I think politically, this stonewalling is, as Nia was getting at, Donald Trump relishes the fight. We know his strategy going into the re-election campaign is about igniting the base. That's been his entire political strategy for the duration of the presidency. Taking on the Democrats like this serves that strategy."

"Also, he's not doing seminars at Mar-A-Lago on separation of powers. He doesn't really care," David Gregory said.

"I have to be clear about this. He doesn't understand the separation of powers. Yesterday he said the Supreme Court will weigh in on impeachment, which it doesn't and can't," Berman said.

"Yeah, but he's pushing on an open political door. He knows at best Democrats are wobbly on the question of impeachment. where they seem more comfortable is, 'let's just keep the investigation going' which allows him to argue they are harassing him," Gregory said.

"He knows Republicans aren't united on this in the Senate. Meaning they are united in his favor, not to push against him. That's what he sees as the opportunity to fight here. Yet he's gonna meet with Nancy Pelosi apparently next week to talk about infrastructure week which may be coming back."

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