By Jon Dougherty
Democratic arrogance is a real thing, and Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee just proved it — again.
On Friday after *pulling a stunt with a rubber chicken and a container of KFC to label Attorney General William Barr — a chicken — for his refusal to appear before the House Judiciary Committee, Cohen made an appearance on CNN (where else?) to actually call for the “arrest” of the AG using the House sergeant-at-arms. (*A stunt that was lampooned mightily — even by CNN. “Just when you think our politics can’t get any dumber, along comes a congressman with some chicken…”)
“So Chairman [Jerrold] Nadler (D-N.Y) talked about moving to contempt proceedings if the Attorney General doesn’t comply. What does that — what would that actually look like?” CNN host Anderson Cooper asked Cohen.
“Well I hope it would be inherent contempt, because in inherent contempt we’d go out and take him, and bring him in, and have him personally brought to the House,” the Tennessee Democrat replied.
Taken aback, Cooper pressed, “You actually want to send out the sergeant-at-arms and force the attorney general to come?”
“Yes,” said Cohen without pausing for a sanity break. “Because otherwise, it is up to the Justice Department.
“The Justice Department will not do anything to take a contempt citation from us and enforce it against their boss. So you got an impossible situation there and it leaves us no other alternative except to use our sergeant-at-arms and to bring him in,” Cohen said.
Kind of like when Obama’s Justice Department ignored the GOP House’s contempt charge against then-AG Eric Holder (which Cooper never mentioned, of course, and which Cohen did not address).
“He’s being utterly contemptuous to Congress,” said Cohen (again, like Holder was — and by the way, even a federal judge would not enforce Congress’ contempt charge).
“So when you say bring him in are you, do you, actually.. Actually support the idea of, I mean, putting him in… Are you talking about just having him sit for a hearing or locking him up somehow?” Cooper stammered rather incredulously.
Again Cohen the Crazy said that, you bet, he actually means the sergeant-at-arms literally should physically take Barr into custody and then, you know, lock him up…somewhere.
Cooper pressed, “But do you actually believe that you’re going to — that your committee is going to order the Attorney General of the United States to be arrested by the sergeant of arms and put in jail?”
Cohen responded that he doesn’t know what the committee will ultimately do but the Justice Department won’t enforce any contempt charge against Barr before noting that the decision ultimately belongs to the committee chair, Nadler.
Cooper asked Cohen, “If it actually [comes] to you sending the sergeant-at-arms, your committee sending the sergeant of arms to apprehend and arrest the Attorney General, isn’t that handing Republicans an incredible thing to point to as Democratic overreach?”
Cohen had no answer for that, of course, but the answer would be a resounding “yes!”
We briefly researched this at the House history of the sergeant-at-arms website. While he’s listed as the “principal law enforcement official” who is “charged with maintaining security on the floor and for the House side of the Capitol complex,” there is nothing on the House.gov website indicating that the sergeant-at-arms is empowered to act as the chamber’s sheriff, with authority to actually arrest members of the president’s Cabinet.
Maybe he could help fit Cohen for a straight jacket instead.
And Democrats claim that POTUS Trump has mental issues? No wonder the vast majority of Americans have written off Congress as an unserious, unaccomplished, unaccountable chamber of fools.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10