Separation Of Powers Is Real, Folks!
Most members of Congress had no idea the Muslim travel ban was coming, but a handful of congressional staffers helped the Trump administration write it? And they signed non-disclosure agreements so they wouldn’t even be able to tell their bosses (members of Congress, and, ultimately, US taxpayers) about the side work? And everyone is OK with this? The disclosure that staffers on Rep. Robert Goodlatte’s House Judiciary Committee worked alongside Trump aides on this order should be rocking Capitol Hill. It suggests that the administration was trying to work as quickly as it could and as quietly as feasible – a potentially troubling template for the future. If members of Congress aren’t troubled by this, they’re missing a big warning sign for the separation of powers.
The man most on the hot seat over the simply crazy arrangement, Goodlatte, was in full-on cleanup mode. At a private GOP conference meeting he tried to calm fellow Republicans who were incensed to learn that some of his aides helped craft Trump’s immigration directive without telling him or GOP leaders or about it. Democrats, meanwhile have raised ethical concerns about nondisclosure agreements signed by the Judiciary aides, and correctly noted such work infringes on separation of powers.
This is all part and parcel of the large narrative I have been pressing on this blog. In the days ahead, we’re going to separate the patriots from the politicians. That goes for citizens, too.