Washington Free Beacon editor in chief Matthew Continetti pointed out Wednesday that it was not considered a constitutional crisis when Republicans demanded documents from then-Attorney General Eric Holder and held him in contempt of Congress.
"This happened in 2011 with Holder and it wasn't a constitutional crisis then, when Republicans were demanding documents over the Fast and Furious scandal. Now suddenly it's a constitutional crisis over—what is it—1.5 percent of the Mueller Report that is still redacted and the underlying evidence? That's a constitutional crisis?" Continetti said during an appearance on MSNBC's Meet the Press Daily on Wednesday.
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Continetti also argued against conflating Donald Trump, Jr. with the White House while the panel discussed Sen. Richard Burr's (R., N.C.) decision to issue a subpoena for the president's son.
Former Associated Press Washington bureau chief Ron Fournier argued the current crisis is "bigger than even Watergate," arguing there has not been "a time where the party under attack is this dug in and behind the president, and almost lemming-like following the president."
"We just spent time talking about Burr subpoenaing the president's son. How is that lemming-like in line?" Continetti asked.
"He's one lone voice in a party that has fallen behind the president," he replied. "It's because he's retiring and we have the YOLO [You Only Live Once] factor going. All these norms we've had about the deference of Congress to the presidency, they are just norms. They are traditions that have not been tested very much at all, and if they have been tested at all it's been many decades," Fournier said. "Now they're going to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court could rule in a way that Congress no longer has the kind of co-equal power that it's had. What Senator [John] Kennedy is worried about, the Republicans may rue the day when they challenge this and they let the Congress have their powers limited."
At that point, Continetti commented that the controversy with Holder did not amount to a constitutional crisis in the public eye. He then noted that the president's son is not even part of the executive branch.
"Secondly, Donald Trump, Jr. is not a member of the executive branch. I think we shouldn't rush to conflate them," Continetti added.
In 2012, more than a dozen Democrats joined House Republicans to hold Holder in contempt of Congress for not turning over documents pertaining to the Fast and Furious scandal.