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Congressman Luis Gutierrez

Representing the 4th District of Illinois

Calling for Judiciary Comm Action, Gutiérrez Dares Trump To Fire Mueller

June 13, 2017
Press Release
“Is it no longer the practice of the House of Representatives to hold oversight hearings?...I have never seen an Administration more in need of congressional oversight than this one, yet the Congress does not dare do anything that might cause the President to call someone out in one of his dawn Twitter rants.”

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke on the House floor to reiterate his call for the Judiciary Committee to begin hearings or investigations into the Trump/Sessions/Russia matter.  Former FBI Director James Comey’s Senate testimony last week clearly indicates this is no longer a matter just for the Intelligence Committee, the Congressman said.  But so far, there has been no action in the Judiciary Committee, which Gutiérrez said is working to “protect the President at all costs; shielding the President from tough questions.”  The Congressman also noted that Trump allies have called on the President to fire former FBI Director Robert Mueller who currently heads the Department of Justice investigation, an action that Gutiérrez said would put the President “on a fast track to impeachment.” 

Rep. Gutiérrez has previously called on Judiciary Chairman Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) to take action (see https://bit.ly/2t3L7iY and https://bit.ly/2r5Vb9Q) and has been blunt in his assessment of the President as a “con artist” (see: https://cnn.it/2stj9k9), but he is stepping up his criticism of the Chairman for the Committee’s inaction.

As soon as President Trump said on Friday he was willing to testify under oath “100%” -- I wrote Judiciary Chairman Goodlatte to say that the Committee should schedule a hearing and take the President at his word…I don’t think the Chairman will invite the President, a man he campaigned for, because the role of the House Judiciary Committee right now is to protect the President at all costs; shielding the President from tough questions. 

The Congressman from Illinois who sits on the Judiciary Committee continued:

Judiciary Republicans – and House Republicans in general – are getting deeper and deeper in bed with this President.  They have a whole agenda and are counting on this President to help them cut taxes for people with trust funds while cutting health care, education, child care, environmental protections, civil rights, and voting rights for people who work for a living.

The Congressman praised Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for calling the Trump Administration’s policy of denying congressional oversight requests “nonsense,” turning at one point to the Republican side of the House chamber saying, “See, my friends, that is how you do it.”

The Congressman concluded by saying that “our old friend” former House Speaker and current presidential advisor Newt Gingrich and others close to the President have started advocating the President fire former FBI Director Robert Mueller who heads the Department of Justice investigation into the Trump/Sessions/Russia affair.

Mr. Speaker – and Mr. Former Speaker – if you want to see the President on a fast track to impeachment, then he should take this advice and fire Mueller.  You want to see this President in the express lane to impeachment, no ifs, ands or buts, then go for it.  Come on, we dare you.  Even the Judiciary Committee, which has shown no interest in doing anything other than rubber stamping the Trump agenda, would have to take action then. 

A video of the Congressman’s floor speech is here: https://youtu.be/DEGMexIzesk

The text (as prepared for delivery) is pasted below.

Rep. Gutiérrez is in his 13th term representing the Fourth District of Illinois.  He is a Member of the Judiciary Committee and is the Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

FLOOR SPEECH

June 13, 2017

Mr. Speaker, the saga continues and there seems to be no end in sight for the Trump Administration’s growing legal and ethical problems.

Every day another shoe drops – or at least another foot is inserted into the Administration’s mouth.

The testimony of James Comey before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week showed us that this is no longer just a matter of foreign intelligence and Russian meddling in American elections. 

While that is very important and we need to address the foreign intelligence and security aspects of that matter – and the very, very important question of how we keep Russia from hacking our elections in the future – what is clear is that the investigations into the Trump Administration are now matters for the Judiciary Committee. 

The Gentlelady from California, Senator Feinstein, and I were on CNN this weekend, and we both made the point that the Judiciary Committee has the oversight responsibility for the Justice Department and therefore it is time for the Committee to do its job.

That was the theme of my speech here last week and nothing has happened.  It is also the reason I wrote to Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte last week to request that he take action, hold hearings, begin preparations for the hearings that will come, because the silence of the Judiciary Committee has been deafening so far.

As soon as President Trump said on Friday he was willing to testify under oath “100%” -- I wrote Judiciary Chairman Goodlatte to say that the Committee should schedule a hearing and take the President at his word. 

Now, I don’t think the Chairman will invite the President, a man he campaigned for, because the role of the House Judiciary Committee right now is to protect the President at all costs; shielding the President from tough questions. 

In so doing, Judiciary Republicans – and House Republicans in general – are getting deeper and deeper in bed with this President.  They have a whole agenda and are counting on this President to help them cut taxes for people with trust funds while cutting health care, education, child care, environmental protections, civil rights, and voting rights for people who work for a living.

Mr. Speaker, the House Judiciary Committee ought to be in the middle of congressional examinations of the Trump Administration and so far we are on the sidelines.

Is it no longer the practice of the House of Representatives to hold oversight hearings?  Is it no longer the practice of this body to hold the Executive Branch and the White House accountable?

I have never seen an Administration more in need of congressional oversight than this one, yet the Congress does not dare do anything that might cause the President to call someone out in one of his dawn Twitter rants.

We know now that the Administration has a policy against cooperating in congressional oversight, instructing agencies not to comply with inquiries from Members of Congress unless they are Committee Chairman.

I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, but the President and his Administration are accountable to over 320 million Americans, all 435 Members of this body and all 100 Senators as well, not just the 20 or so Committee Chairmen or just to their Republican allies.

At least one senior Senator called this policy opposing congressional oversight (quote) “nonsense.”  To his credit, the Republican Chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the Senate – Mr. Grassley of Iowa –is not impacted by the Trump Administration policy because he is a Chairman, but he spoke out forcefully against this presidential obstruction.

See, my friends, that is how you do it.

And then there is our old friend, the former Speaker and an advisor to the President, Mr. Gingrich, who is now advising the President to terminate Robert Mueller, the former FBI Director investigating the President and his subordinates.

Mr. Gingrich said Mueller was ‘a superb choice” with an impeccable reputation for fairness just a few weeks ago, but now says that there is no way Mueller can be fair. 

He wants the President to fire Mueller and wants a political fight against the very idea of Special Prosecutors.

Now Mr. Gingrich has been joined in this chorus by a Trump confidant and golf-buddy, the President of Newsmax, who says the President is contemplating firing Mueller.

Mr. Speaker – and Mr. Former Speaker – if you want to see the President on a fast track to impeachment, then he should take this advice and fire Mueller.

You want to see this President in the express lane to impeachment, no ifs, ands or buts, then go for it.

Come on, we dare you. 

Even the Judiciary Committee, which has shown no interest in doing anything other than rubber stamping the Trump agenda, would have to take action then. 

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