House Oversight and Reform Committee member Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) on Thursday warned that his committee “will use any and all power in our command” – including incarceration – should White House officials refuse to comply with congressional subpoenas.
“We’re going to resist, and if a subpoena is issued and you’re told you must testify, we will back that up,” Connolly said during an interview with CNN host Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.”
“And we will use any and all power in our command to make sure it’s backed up — whether that’s a contempt citation, whether that’s going to court and getting that citation enforced, whether it’s fines, whether it’s possible incarceration,” he continued. “We will go to the max to enforce the constitutional role of the legislative branch of government.”
CNN reports that three officials thus 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.
Connolly specifically called out Miller during his CNN interview, 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 his committee’s requests to testify, the legislative branch would become “a pale shadow of what it was intended to be.”
“Trump is putting his own people in grave jeopardy.”
Rep. Gerry Connolly threatened jail time for White House officials who are declining to comply with congressional committees’ efforts to conduct oversight of President Trump’s administration. pic.twitter.com/ZySbpaTRKT
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) April 26, 2019