1. Various of Georgetown Law Professor Victoria Nourse speaking
2. SOUNDBITE: (English) Victoria Nourse, Georgetown Law Professor:
"I think this White House has been the most combative since Nixon. And the reason I say this I was a baby lawyer during the Reagan administration and I was working on Iran-Contra. Reagan had his own investigation. He worked with Congress. There was a joint House and Senate committee investigation. George W. Bush worked with Congress on various matters. I don't think that this president is following the existing precedents. The last president I know who actually pursued the claim that he would not respond, his senior officials would not respond to House subpoenas was Nixon."
3. Nourse opening door
4. SOUNDBITE: (English) Victoria Nourse, Georgetown Law Professor:
"This particular stance about refusing to honor subpoenas is very aggressive. Typically, these things happen every day up and down Pennsylvania Avenue. They're negotiated. Why? People don't want the American public to think that they are stonewalling, that they're not doing the business of the people."
5. Various of Nourse.
6. SOUNDBITE: (English) Victoria Nourse, Georgetown Law Professor:
"The weight is in favor of Congress's investigatory authority. Now, his (President Donald Trump) argument will be, 'well they don't need it anymore because we have the Mueller report,' but his judgment is not the final judgment. We know that from United States versus Nixon. The Nixon case says the president cannot decide on his own. The court is the final arbiter of whether Congress needs this information or its within its congressional constitutional authority. So, I don't see any legitimate ground for the executive to be pushing back against Mueller testimony."
Washington - 21 June 2017
7. STILL: Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs Capitol
Washington - 6 May 2019
8. SOUNDBITE: (English) Victoria Nourse, Georgetown Law Professor:
"My biggest fear is that if it were to go to court and the court were to affirm Congress' authority that the president would simply refuse. That would be a true constitutional crisis because in fact you would have one branch saying to the other branch, the courts, I'm not going to pay attention to you in which case there is no way to resolve that. The only way to resolve it would be in fact impeachment under the Constitution and that's a very extreme remedy."
9. Various of Nourse
10. SOUNDBITE: (English) Victoria Nourse, Georgetown Law Professor:
"It could take awhile. This is the big problem here, that going to court is a delaying tactic."
Washington - April 18, 2019
11. Various of Mueller report as released to public
Washington - 6 May 2019
12. SOUNDBITE: (English) Victoria Nourse, Georgetown Law Professor:
"Well, I think that this most significant consequences to Mr. Barr are really about his reputation. Many people were surprised that he would take the Attorney General position. He is a very well respected lawyer. He has been through some of these controversies before. And, you know, many people are worried that having taken positions in this administration they will no longer be able to obtain positions with other persons in their parties. They will be scorned by clients and, therefore, they will not be seen as appropriate partners in law firms. This is a far -- or he may even be disbarred. These are much more consequential I think to significant, powerful lawyers than whatever fine or jail time might be involved."
A legal scholar says that the the battle between the Democrat-led House and President Donald Trump over special counsel Robert Mueller's report could lead to a constitutional crisis.
Victoria Nourse, a professor at Georgetown Law University, views the Trump administration as "the most combative" since former President Richard Nixon.
Nourse, who has served both Republicans and Democrats as a legal counsel, says that the current battle between Trump and House Republicans could end up in court.
While she believes that there is legal precedent that defends Congress' ability to request documents, Trump could ultimately decide not to comply with any judicial ruling.
"My biggest fear is that if it were to go to court and the court were to affirm Congress' authority that the president would simply refuse," Nurse said, referring to potential contempt proceedings against Attorney General Bill Barr and subpoenas House Democrats have threatened to issue over a number of investigations.
"That would be a true constitutional crisis because in fact you would have one branch saying to the other branch, the courts, 'I'm not going to pay attention to you,' in which case there is no way to resolve that. The only way to resolve it would be in fact impeachment under the Constitution and that's a very extreme remedy."
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler has scheduled a Wednesday vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress. Nadler is proposing to hold Barr in contempt after the Justice Department declined to provide the committee with a full, unredacted version of special counsel Mueller's report on Trump and Russia. The committee had given Barr until 9 a.m. Monday to comply.
Republicans have sharply criticized Democrats as they have battled Trump's administration over the Mueller report, subpoenaed multiple administration witnesses and made efforts to gain access to Trump's personal and business financial records. Trump has said he will fight "all the subpoenas."