Robert Reich, who served in three administrations, most recently as Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton, says President Trump’s edict ordering White House staff and other administration members to ignore congressional subpoenas fits a “dictator of a banana republic.”
Writing in an opinion column in Newsweek, Reich argued that Congress should use its arrest powers to force Attorney General William Barr and others to testify.
“When President Richard Nixon tried to stop key aides from testifying in the Senate Watergate hearings, in 1973, Senator Sam Ervin, chairman of the Watergate select committee, threatened to jail anyone who refused to appear,” Reich wrote.
“Congress hasn’t actually carried through on the threat since 1935—but it could.”
Reich conceded that the Trump administration would probably challenge such a move in court, but he said it was worth doing.
“There seems no other way to get Trump to move,” he wrote.
“Trump’s contempt for the inherent power of Congress cannot stand. It is the most dictatorial move he has initiated since becoming president.”