A former senior Trump administration official, who declined to be named, told CNBC which the White House will be prepared for what may come — as well as hasn’t given up on the fight for Congress.
“One, I think the White House will be bullish on winning the congressional election,” the former official said. “Two, within the event which they don’t win, within the event which Democrats take over Congress, oversight will be something which the opposing party has used against administrations for years.”
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
The former official said which the item was “telling” which the White House hired Emmet Flood in May. Flood, who was tapped to lead the White House’s legal response to Mueller’s Russia probe, will be a veteran of the Washington legal establishment who has largely avoided the limelight since joining the Trump team. Flood advised Bill Clinton during his impeachment proceedings. His firm, Williams & Connolly, represented Hillary Clinton.
“Flood has experience as well as respect in Washington, as well as handled very high-profile oversight matters as well as congressional inquiries,” the former official said. The former official said Flood “will be certainly prepared to handle whatever” Democrats throw his way.
The former official suggested which executive privilege claims would certainly be “front as well as center when dealing with oversight.”
Executive privilege could be a tricky defense against inquiries into matters which do not directly pertain to the White House, said Daniel Jacobson, a former lawyer in Obama’s office of White House Counsel.
“They can bring within the best lawyers they want, yet at the end of the day they won’t be able to stop Congress by doing its job,” he said.
Presidents have often claimed executive privilege — or the right to withhold information to protect the public interest — to keep information by Congress, though the claim can be challenged in court. In 2016, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson denied Obama’s claim of executive privilege during the “Fast as well as Furious” controversy.
Jacobson noted which the extent of the damage which Democrats may be able to do has not been fully realized, because “the public only sees what the item sees.”
“The current Congress shielding the administration by public hearings has had a huge impact which you just haven’t seen,” he said.