The damage was done more than a year ago. But the bill is just now coming due.
With the refusal of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson last week to comply with a congressional subpoena, the deliberate destruction of congressional subpoena power is laid bare.
The blame should fall squarely on Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Why have Simpson, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, Christine Blasey Ford (who accused now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault) and many others refused to cooperate or attempted to dictate the terms and timing of their own testimony? Because Congress has given up the power to compel them.
As I described in my book “The Deep State,” one of the key moments that led to my early departure from Congress and the House Oversight Committee came when Sessions inexplicably refused to prosecute subversions of congressional authority. I knew what that decision would cost Congress and the public.
Without enforcement of congressional subpoenas, the impotence of Congress to compel evidence is revealed. And the ability to perform substantive oversight is compromised.
Anyone could have seen this coming. The moment Attorney General Sessions told me he had no intention of prosecuting Clinton IT aide Brian Pagliano, I knew the battle was lost. Pagliano refused to even appear before Congress – not once, but twice.