John Sununu believes it is not only illegal for Attorney General William Barr to hand over the unredacted version of Robert Mueller’s report, Democrats are “really dumb” for thinking he would be forced to.
The former White House chief of staff to President George H.W. Bush mocked the Democrats’ cries of a “so-called Constitutional crisis” in the face of Barr’s refusal to provide them with portions of the special counsel’s redacted report, a move that launched a charge against the attorney general for contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena issued by the House Judiciary Committee.
“What Nadler and the Democrats wanted Barr to do was to break the law,” Sununu told Fox News host Bill Hemmer on “America’s Newsroom” Monday, referring to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler’s efforts which have been supported by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“They are using the threat of contempt to try and blackmail him into sending something that would break the law,” the former GOP Governor of New Hampshire said, explaining the “factual basis” of the issue.
“Nadler and Pelosi have to be really dumb if they think any serious court will support a contempt effort to get at the attorney general based on urging him to break the law,” Sununu contended. “No federal court is going to force him to break the law.”
After weeks of political posturing and sounding the alarm about the “constitutional crisis,” Nadler seemed to throw cold water on the Democrats’ fire, saying he “never intended” to force Barr to release any of the confidential grand jury information, according to The Washington Times.
“The subpoena doesn’t have to say it,” he said. “That’s a nonsense argument and a red herring that the Republicans are raising.”
“The intent of the subpoena always was, and we’ve always stated that we would go to the court and ask for the grand jury information and we would ask the attorney general to accompany us to court, which in every previous situation he has done,” the New York Democrat added. “This time, he said he wouldn’t do that. He’s given no reason for that, by the way. It is essential that we get this information.”
President Trump slammed the efforts by Democrats to push the “witch hunt.”
The Democrats new and pathetically untrue sound bite is that we are in a “Constitutional Crisis.” They and their partner, the Fake News Media, are all told to say this as loud and as often as possible. They are a sad JOKE! We may have the strongest Economy in our history, best…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2019
….employment numbers ever, low taxes & regulations, a rebuilt military & V.A., many great new judges, & so much more. But we have had a giant SCAM perpetrated upon our nation, a Witch Hunt, a Treasonous Hoax. That is the Constitutional Crisis & hopefully guilty people will pay!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2019
Sununu pointed out that there was a clearly political side to the Democrats’ strategy, and urged Republicans to not turn the talking points to the booming economy in response but to bring attention to the fact that “Democrats are trying to make somebody break the law.”
He noted that what is actually “behind the curtain” is that the FBI “really was politically motivated” and that some in the agency are guilty of a “serious breaking of the law.”
“I think there are people that are in real trouble,” he said.
Asked by Hemmer if he thought Barr could foresee that he would become a target of Democrats, Sununu pointed out the attorney general’s experience and history.
Barr has “been around Washington enough to know that he’d better take advantage of his thick skin in this job,” he said. “Bill Barr is smart, Bill Barr’s been around a long time.”
“He’s got the Democrats scared to death – that’s why they’re doing this to him,” he added. “They’re trying to undermine him early before he starts pursuing all the things that he agreed to pursue during his confirmation.”
Sununu also dismissed impeachment efforts by Democrats against Trump but cautioned the president and the GOP to stay clear of using the issue to attack Democrats as a strategy going into 2020.
Pelosi knows the effort is not “smart” and will not end up getting anywhere, he contended, adding that Republicans need to stop using it to “taunt” Democrats.
“I think there are important issues for Republicans to use their rhetoric time in the media to focus on,” including economy, health care and infrastructure,” he said.
Hemmer noted that the contempt vote has been “punted” down the road at least a month, if not longer.
“I think the contempt vote would be dumber than the impeachment,” Sununu declared.
“When you start looking at the detail of that, with the visibility that an effort in Congress to get a contempt vote would be, the public would see that all the Democrats are trying to do is make Barr break the law,” he reiterated.
“And nobody in the American public supports having Congress blackmail somebody into breaking the law,” he said.