Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib appeared to express her agreement this week with a man who called for U.S. Marshals to take into custody Trump administration officials who do not comply with congressional subpoenas.
The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives voted over the summer to hold both Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt of Congress.
The vote came after both Cabinet members defied congressional subpoenas to turn over documents related to the Trump administration’s efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
During a “Congress, Coffee, and Conversation” town hall event Tuesday in Detroit, a member of the audience suggested to Tlaib that Trump administration officials should be told that if they don’t comply with subpoenas, there will be “federal marshals that will hunt them down” and take them into custody.
Tlaib’s response made it clear that she agreed.
“So let me tell you,” she said, “this is the last caucus conversation we’ve had.
“Do you know this is really unprecedented? This is the first time we’ve ever had a situation like this. So they’re trying to figure out, no joke, they’re trying to figure out, ‘Well, is it the D.C. police that goes and gets them?'”
“Where do we hold them?” Tlaib said, referring to the Trump administration officials who would be arrested if they refused to comply with congressional subpoenas, before noting that she is not involved “in those kinds of conversations.”
“But I’m asking, like, ‘What happens?'” she said. “And they’re like, ‘Well Rashida, we’re trying to figure it out ourselves because this is uncharted territory.'”
“They’re trying to be like, ‘Well, where are we going to put them?'” she said. “Those are the kind of things — they’re trying to tread carefully.”
Tlaib said she wonders these things, too.
“I ask the same questions. ‘Well, what happens when they don’t comply?'” she said. “The fact of the matter is, we held Barr and Secretary Ross from Commerce, the secretary of commerce, in contempt.”
“I will relay your message,” the congresswoman told the crowd.
“I will tell them, they can hold all of those people in Detroit,” she said. “We’ll take care of them, and make sure they show up to the committee hearings.”
As if to assuage potential concerns that the arrested government officials would be mistreated while in custody, Tlaib added: “We won’t hurt them.”
Her remarks were posted to YouTube by America Rising, a pro-Donald Trump Political Action Committee:
Her comments are concerning insomuch as they consist of a sitting U.S. congresswoman talking about government officials who she disagrees with politically being arrested.
Tlaib is well within her rights to talk all she wants about how much she dislikes Trump, Barr, Ross and any other Republican.
But to go from criticizing your political opponents to calling for their arrest is alarming, to say the least.
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