Washington, D.C., October 25, 2019 – In a new column at Yeomans Work, Alliance for Justice Senior Justice Fellow Bill Yeomans examines the pressure the Trump administration is placing on career public servants not to comply with the House impeachment inquiry. Yeomans writes that by agreeing to provide testimony to Congress in defiance of the Administration, these career public servants are prioritizing their commitment to the role of government over the political threats they have been subjected to.
“For those still in government, the risks of defying political leadership are substantial,” Yeomans explains. “For most, their willingness to comply stems from respect for the rule of law and the constitutionally assigned powers of government, as well as concern about the conduct of the nation’s foreign policy.”
Manifesting Republicans’ and the Trump administration’s “increasing desperation and disrespect for the rule of law, some forty-one members of the House Freedom Caucus stormed the SCIF (Secure Compartmented Information Facility) in which a Department of Defense official, Deputy Assistant Secretary Laura Cooper, was scheduled to testify regarding the withholding of military assistance to Ukraine. They purported to be protesting the closed nature of the hearings,” writes Yeomans. But in reality, “thirteen of the marauding Republican legislators were entitled to be in the depositions as members of the relevant committees, but chose to disrupt rather than participate.”
“While many have made much of the security breach of invading a SCIF, that seems less important than what the invasion portends for the lawlessness ahead,” Yeomans warns. “The ultimate test will be whether [Trump’s] desperation will prove a match for dedicated career professionals who believe in the rule of law and the institutions of government.”
Yeomans Work focuses on the challenges to the justice system in the era of Trump. Bill Yeomans is available for media interviews. His opinions are his own and do not necessarily represent the positions of Alliance for Justice. For booking inquiries, contact Zack Ford, Press Secretary, at Zack.Ford@afj.org or at 202-464-7370.