Don’t think this week’s headlines about contempt of Congress and impeachment are about anything so serious as contempt of Congress or impeachment—never mind the “constitutional crisis” Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared Thursday. This is red-meat politics.
The House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt. It demands Mr. Barr turn over an unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, as well as “all documents obtained and investigative materials created by” Mr. Mueller’s office.
What does Mr. Nadler want, if not information? He wants the fight; he wants a show. Mrs. Pelosi prefers to avoid impeachment, for fear of public blowback. But she and her team need desperately to feed the angry progressive masses, to demonstrate that they are taking it to the Trump team.
Chairman Jerrold Nadler also threatened to hold former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt if he doesn’t testify. Mrs. Pelosi spent all week meditating on the prospect of impeaching President Trump, accusing him of “obstruction, obstruction, obstruction,” and even declaring him “self-impeachable,” whatever that means.
Mr. Nadler insists the point of his subpoena fusillade is to obtain “evidence” as part of his “investigation” into “abuses of power” by Mr. Trump. This is obviously untrue, as evidenced by Mr. Nadler’s dogged, daily efforts to make sure he does not obtain any information of value.