House Oversight Committee member Rep. Gerry Connolly (D- VA) discussed Congress’ subpoenas to current and former Trump White House aides and officials.
Friday on CNN’s “Right Now,” Connolly warned that the investigative body “will use any and all power in our command” – including jail time – should White House officials refuse to comply with congressional subpoenas to testify as the panel ramps up its wide-ranging investigation into the Trump administration.
When asked about potential consequences for anyone defying subpoenas, Connolly said, “Congress has immense powers, and if you want to go to war with Congress, you do so at your own peril.”
Trump and administration officials have signaled they will resist the attempts to investigate his policies and personal finances, which has outraged lawmakers and led to accusations he is undermining the constitutional separation of powers.
“We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” Trump said on Wednesday. “These aren’t like impartial people. The Democrats are trying to win 2020. They’re not going to win with the people I see and they’re not going to win against me.”
According to CNN, three officials so far – White House adviser Stephen Miller, former security clearance official Carl Kline and John Gore, a deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division – have turned away requests from the committee to testify as part of its investigation into the Trump administration.
In the interview with CNN on Thursday, Connolly specifically called out Miller, referring to him as the president’s “immigration whisperer” and said that his committee wanted to learn what he “has in his head” as he continues to push for hard-line immigration policies in the Trump administration.
“We want to hear from him, what is your thinking, what is it you’ve been advising the president, and where is it you think you’re going to be taking us as a country with these kinds of policies and personnel changes?” he said.
Connolly also warned that should the Trump administration officials continue to refuse the panel’s requests to testify, the legislative branch would become “a pale shadow of what it was intended to be.”