WSJ: Thilli$$$ special prosecutor protection bill ‘unconstitutional’

It wasn’t long ago that our junior senator was lecturing Laura Ingraham about needing a refresher on American government, civics, and that kind of thing.  Now, it appears Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn — also a veteran of the Buckley-era National Review and The American Spectator — thinks Thom Tillis needs one TOO:

The Republican Congress must be taking lessons from Roger Goodell.

At the same time the NFL commissioner has let millionaire athletes make the league look ridiculous and the national anthem divisive, the GOP is letting an unelected special prosecutor make an end run around its congressional powers and prerogatives. It won’t get any better, either, until Congress resurrects its own playbook—and jails those who defy its subpoenas.

Alas, à la Mr. Goodell, some Republicans are egging on the very people undermining their own authority. A perfect example comes Tuesday at 10 a.m. in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, where the Judiciary Committee will consider two bad Republican bills that punt on one of Congress’s most vital responsibilities.

The first, sponsored by Sen. Thom Tillis (R., N.C.), is called the Special Prosecutor Integrity Act. The second, by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), is the Special Counsel Independence Protection Act. Each would make it impossible for President Trump to sack Robert Mueller without some review by a panel of judges.

Only one problem: It’s unconstitutional. Almost 30 years ago, in a stinging and solitary dissent about the illegitimacy of the independent counsel law, Justice Antonin Scalia noted the Constitution vests all executive authority in the president. Though Mr. Mueller’s special prosecutor is a much-watered-down version of the old independent counsel, the principle holds.

Scalia understood the argument that a criminal president couldn’t be trusted to investigate and prosecute himself or his staff. His remedy was for the other two branches of government, separate and coequal, to assert their own unique powers. Impeachment is one such power.

Another is inherent contempt, under which Congress may jail those who refuse to provide the information it needs. The Supreme Court in 1821 recognized that without the ability to hold in contempt and imprison those who refused its demands, Congress would be “exposed to every indignity and interruption, that rudeness, caprice or even conspiracy may mediate against it.”

That’s a fair description of where we are today, especially the notion that Congress should do nothing to jeopardize Mr. Mueller’s work. This gets it backward: Our democracy is rooted in the idea that it’s more important for the American people’s elected representatives to get the information they need than for wrongdoers to be held criminally liable. Which is why Congress can compel information from witnesses who refuse to testify, but what they say cannot be used to prosecute them.

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12 comments for “WSJ: Thilli$$$ special prosecutor protection bill ‘unconstitutional’

  1. bobby poon
    September 28, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Tillis is as dumb as a box of rocks and his end game is a lobbying job with one of the establishment firms in DC. The local political consultants we currently have in NC are incompetent, only interested in lining their nest. All are anchors of the establishment and would sell out their mothers.
    All one needs to do is take a step back and see what progress or lack of since the GOP has been in charge. Talk a big game at election time but once in office little changes except statues and conservatives don’t get to speak on public university campuses.

    • Debbie
      October 2, 2017 at 9:40 pm

      Won’t vote for him

  2. Raphael
    September 28, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    What Tillis ought to be doing is making sure that Comey is prosecuted for perjury for lying to Congress under oath when Comey falsely stated that no one connected to Trump was being wiretapped at Trump Towers. It has now developed that Manafort was being wiretapped there, and Comey would have known it when he made that statement. Comey should be wearing an orange jump suit. But I doubt we will see Tillis do anything about that.

    Muller is on a highly partisan witch hunt. He needs to be restricted to his original charge, not allowed to go on a partisan witch hunt.

    Tillis is useless when he is not just flat out liberal.

    • Myron Smith
      September 29, 2017 at 1:12 am

      Agree question those doing the wiretapping. Support Trump and approve his appointments which has not been done by US Congress?????

  3. john steed
    September 29, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Special ”prosecutor”? Muller really ought to be called a Special Persecutor. He has found nothing related to Trump and Russia because nothing is there. Now, he seems to be teaming with the IRS to nitpick Trump’s taxes. Muller has filled his staff with vicious highly partisan Democrat and liberal operatives Before long, Muller will probably be interviewing Trump’s elementary school classmates to determine if he can be indicted for playing hookey from school.

    Muller and this fraudulent investigation should not be protected. They should be eviscerated. At minimum, keep him looking at what he is supposed to be looking at, not going off on wild goose chases with a posse of Democrat hacks.

    Thanks to another partisan hack, Comey, the one who should really be under investigation, Hillary Clinton, was let off the hook, with Comey drafting the speech letting her off the hook before his team had even interviewed the key witnesses.

    Whitewash real crimes by Hillary and persecute Trump – that is what we are getting from the corrupt Obama FBI. And Tillis seems to approve of that.

    Republicans need to dump Tillis at the earliest opportunity.

  4. Hershellr
    October 2, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Yea I think Tillis has already been bought and paid for. He is a disgrace to the Office he holds as well as the State of NC

  5. Reid
    October 2, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Tillis needs to primaried and booted out. We have enough liberal lite republican senators already. It’s time to at least level the playing field so the people have a chance of getting decent representation.

  6. ABIGAIL
    October 2, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Tillis is a RINO and a TRAITOR! HE has truly turned from the person he was to begin with. Can’t wait to GET HIM OUTTER THERE!!!

  7. Gerald mcmahan
    October 2, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    i promise the people of the USA,, my self and many of my friends will work night and day to bring this turncoat back to north caroline come election time,, hes a disgrace to this state and im ashame he is form NC,,we all make mistakes sometimes,, but,, this is one mistake the great state of NC made that so many would like to take back,

    • GUWonder
      October 3, 2017 at 11:55 am

      The rumor is that Tillis WANTS to come back to NC, to run for governor. He needs to be defeated in the primary for that if he tries that gambit. Whatever this douche bag brownnoser of the special interests runs for, he needs to be defeated..

      Congressman Mark Meadows needs to be our US Senate nominee in 2020.

      • Toxhandler
        October 3, 2017 at 6:22 pm

        Being a Senator pays better than Governor. If there’s anything to that rumor, it has to be because Tillis wants the White House ultimately. Because unless he’s utterly politically tone deaf, he HAS to know he isn’t popular back in the North State. It’s for that reason that I have a hard time believing there is anything to that rumor.

        • GUWonder
          October 3, 2017 at 11:19 pm

          The free housing the governor gets, makes his total package better than that of a Senator, but the big thing is that ”La Raza” Tillis likes to be a big fish in a small bowl.

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