Constitutional Crisis Alert

The White House is instituting a new policy which will allow it to grant press passes based on criteria the White House establishes. The White House has adopted a “no witnesses, no documents” policy when it comes to responding to Congressional requests.

If allowed to stand, this is a further chopping by the President at those he considers his enemies. He is pulling passes from reporters or columnists who he doesn’t agree with.
You know how the President likes to point out what he sees as the strength of dictators in other countries? Well, this is one way the “press” operates in those countries — at the whim of the dictator who also banishes those who are critical.

This at the same time that there is a building Constitutional crisis between the White House and the Congress, another example of this White House controlling information.
Both are offenses against our Constitution. The Congress has an oversight responsibility which it carries out through its power to solicit witnesses for hearings to explain their actions and for documents to review. The White House has issued a blanket “we’re not providing anything to the Congress” policy.

At the same time it is saying, “The White House will determine who gets access to the White House” when it comes to the media.

Whether you support or oppose the policies of President Trump, only the most partisan can support these actions by the Trump White House. Trump has proclaimed that his is the “most transparent White House in history.” That just isn’t true and it doesn’t take much digging to see why: they are withholding information from the Congress and picking the reporters who give them what they consider the “nicest” coverage.

Attorney General William Barr testified at his confirmation hearings that he, in effect, had F. U. money — he didn’t need the job (he already had it on his resume from the Bush Administration) and he could be depended on to do the right things (because he already had quite successful political and private sector careers). We are seeing him now violate his under oath pledges to the Congress.

Constitutional Crisis? If not now, soon. We must support our institutions to do the right things — and one of those things is to be a check on the other branches of government.
The Trump White House is hacking away at those institutions at the same time claiming transparency.

Whether you support or oppose Trump’s presidency isn’t the issue, as Americans we must support our system of government which is in tremendous peril right now.

Former deputy White House press secretary (Reagan and Bush 41) and former head of communications at Republican Natl Committee. My blog: bjaycooper.com.

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