Enough facts are in the public record about the Benghazi murders of Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens and 3 others, including two Marines, that a final judgment can be rendered on President Obama’s handling of the affair. Obama’s actions, or inactions, amounted to dereliction of duty, and worse.
Ben Rhodes, a former national security aide to former President Barack Obama, accused President Trump of pursuing a foreign policy based on “Obama envy” following news of a violent mob attacking the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
Freshman Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MN) told the Deadline Detroit that House Democrats have talked about arresting and detaining members of President Donald Trump’s administration who fail to comply with congressional subpoenas. While this is something Democrats are contemplating, Tlaib said this is “uncharted territory.”
2. Lois Lerner refuses to testify on IRS targeting
Lois Lerner, the director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the IRS when they were inappropriately targeting conservative and tea party groups, appeared before Congress in May 2013. She gave a statement but refused to answer questions by pleading the Fifth Amendment. Republicans called her back in March 2014, when she pulled the same stunt. At the time, Rep. Elijah Cummings blasted Republicans for wanting to question Lerner. Today, Cummings is the House Oversight and Reform Chairman and has a much different attitude about Congress’s role of oversight when it comes to Trump.
3. Ben Rhodes not allowed to testify on Iran Nuclear Deal
The Iran Nuclear Deal was so bad Obama didn’t even try to get Senate ratification for it, and much of the negotiations were done without Congress being informed. When Congressional Republicans wanted to get answers after Ben Rhodes (the failed novelist turned Obama speechwriter turned top foreign policy adviser to Obama) let it spill to the New York Times that the administration relied on a false narrative to sell the Iran deal to the public, the White House wouldn’t let him testify, using the “separation of powers” excuse. “Specifically, the appearance of a senior presidential adviser before Congress threatens the independence and autonomy of the president, as well as his ability to receive candid advice and counsel in the discharge of his constitutional duties,” explained White House counsel Neil Eggleston. This was after the White House previously claimed they wouldn’t hide behind executive privilege.
4. Treasury officials blocked from testifying on Obamacare subsidies
When Obama started making all sorts of unilateral (and illegal) changes to Obamacare, Republicans were none too happy about the abuse of power. When Obama’s IRS decided to expand Obamacare subsidies to be used in federal exchanges in addition to state exchanges, the Obama administration refused to allow Treasury Department officials to testify on the rule changing process, using the excuse that the issue was soon to be decided in the Supreme Court.
5. White House refuses to allow political director to testify
In 2014, Democratic operatives were concerned that the Obama White House wasn’t doing enough to help in the forthcoming midterms. In response to these concerns, Obama launched the White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach. This raised eyebrows for some, who were concerned that Obama and his minions were using White House resources for political activity. So, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee began investigating in order to make sure the White House was complying with civil services laws designed to prevent executive branch employees from engaging in political activity. David Simas, the director of the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach was subpoenaed, but the White House refused to allow him to testify before Congress. In a letter to Congress, White House Counsel Neil Eggleston claimed Simas was “immune from congressional compulsion to testify on matters relating to his official duties” and thus would not appear before the committee.
Justice Kagan’s Obamacare conflict on interest
Prior to being nominated as a justice for the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan served as solicitor general for the Obama administration, during which time she was heavily involved in crafting a legal defense for Obamacare. This conflict of interest was important, since issues revolving around Obamacare would be going before the Supreme Court. Federal law dictates that Supreme Court justices must recuse themselves when their impartiality “might reasonably be questioned.”
Naturally, the Obama administration didn’t want Kagan to recuse herself from any Obamacare-related cases. So, when the House Judiciary Committee requested documents and interviews to get a clear understanding of her role relating to Obamacare while she was solicitor general, the Obama/Holder Justice Department refused to comply. When Eric Holder testified before the committee he claimed to have no knowledge of the request.
7. Refusal to provide subpoenaed Solyndra documents
Remember the Solyndra scandal? The Obama administration wasn’t exactly interested in letting Congress exercise their oversight responsibilities when they investigated how the Obama administration could have given them a huge loan when they were going bankrupt. When House Republicans subpoenaed documents for their investigation, the Obama White House fired back claiming their request would put an “unreasonable burden on the president’s ability to meet his constitutional duties.” House Republicans accused the Obama White House of hiding information, and they responded with accusations of a partisan investigation.
8. Refusing to let the White House social secretary testify on party crashers scandal
In 2009, two party crashers successfully got by the Secret Service during a state dinner, succeeding in meeting and shaking hands with Barack Obama. Congress investigated the breach in security, but when White House Social Secretary Desirée Rogers was asked to testify before Congress, the White House refused to let her testify. Obama’s press secretary explained during a press briefing that “…based on separation of powers, staff here don’t go to testify in front of Congress.” That explanation was questioned by legal scholars. “I’d completely fall out of my chair if they invoked Executive privilege with regards to a social secretary arranging a party,” explained Mark J. Rozell, a public-policy professor at George Mason and expert on executive privilege. For what was arguably a very nonpartisan investigation (and led by Democrats) it certainly makes you wonder what the Obama White House was hiding.
9. Fighting subpoenas in the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation investigation
When the Obama administration inexplicably dropped a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) in Philadelphia, many questions were asked as to why. The NBPP had dressed in paramilitary uniforms outside of polling places in Philadelphia on Election Day 2008, and the case against them, which was started by the Bush administration, and the Obama administration won the case by default when the NBPP didn’t show up in court to defend themselves, but the DOJ decided to dismiss the charges. Former Justice Department attorney (and current PJ Media contributor J. Christian Adams) quit his position in the Justice Department to protest the Obama administration’s handling of the case and confirmed the racial motivation behind the decision to drop the case against them.