12:44 GMT +318 November 2019
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    U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., listens to a constituent in Wixom, Mich., Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019.

    Lock Them Up: Dems Consider Jailing Trump Admin Officials for Ignoring Subpoenas - Rashida Tlaib

    Paul Sancya
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    Tensions are on the rise on Capitol Hill as an impeachment investigation into President Trump proceeds. Now Democrats say they are ready to call in sergeant-at-arms if officials named in the inquiry do not comply with congressional subpoenas.

    Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib said Democrats involved in an impeachment inquiry have had “serious discussions” about jailing people mentioned in the impeachment investigation for their refusal to testify in court. In an interview with Detroit Deadline Tlaib said: “There have been actual serious conversations about what the logistics would look like. This is pretty uncharted territory for us and even the Congress".

    Rashida Tlaib is an ardent opponent of President Trump, in September she started selling t-shirts with the slogan “Impeach the MF”, a decision that was denounced by even mainstream media, which is very critical of Trump. Trump called Tlaib a crazed lunatic, an anti-Semite, and castigated her for supporting an open door policy.

    The development comes as Trump’s ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland met with investigators after earlier refusing to do so. Tlaib was echoed by John Garamendi who said: "It’s time to call in the sergeant-at-arms and march them off to our little jail, which we do happen to have".

    On 24 September House Democrats initiated an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump, accusing him of abuse of power and a cover-up. The Trump administration subsequently informed Congress that it would not cooperate with the inquiry.

    It is unclear how the Democrats plan to jail officials ignoring congressional subpoenas. They can file a civil suit, but this will take months or even more to play out in the courts. Detaining someone via a sergeant-at-arms last happened in 1933, said Margaret Taylor, a former Democratic Chief counsel for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    The impeachment investigation centres on a complaint filed by an anonymous whistleblower, who said Trump was engaged in a quid pro quo with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. According to the whistleblower Trump promised to provide military aid if Kiev digs up dirt on Joe Biden, his rival in the 2020 election. The subsequent release of the call's transcript showed no misconduct on Trump’s part. This, however, did not stop the Democrats from initiating an impeachment inquiry.

    Tags:
    Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, Joe Biden, 2020 election, impeachment, Republicans, Democrats, Donald Trump, Gordon Sondland, Rashida Tlaib
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