Republicans to Unleash 150 Subpoenas if Democrats Target Friends of Conservative Supreme Court Justices

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AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressional Republicans are preparing to fight back by unleashing up to 150 subpoenas on liberals and Democrats if Joe Biden’s party in the Senate subpoenas conservatives who are friends and supporters of Supreme Court justices appointed by Republican presidents.

This subpoena fight is the latest battle in an ongoing war by the left, who in recent months have been targeting the two most conservative justices on the Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, investigating and even going after private citizens who are longtime friends of the justices, most especially conservative leader Leonard Leo and GOP donor Harlan Crow. And this skirmish, driven by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), could happen as soon as Thursday.

Former Trump White House senior aide – and former Breitbart News senior management – Stephen K. Bannon interviewed Mark Paoletta on November 22 regarding the left’s ongoing attacks against the U.S. Supreme Court, and especially Justice Thomas.

As a lawyer in the White House Counsel’s Office in the Bush 41 White House, Paoletta was heavily involved in Thomas’s confirmation in 1991 and has been a central player in D.C. in judicial confirmations and protecting the federal judiciary in the intervening three decades. He is currently a senior fellow at the Center for Renewing America, among other things.

As Paoletta put it, “The court is the last bastion to protect our Constitution,” and so liberal Democrats are seeking to decimate the Supreme Court by any means necessary.

“The left is furious … that they cannot control the court,” Paoletta explained, explaining that Democrats are “throwing the kitchen sink at trying to make the American people think that it’s a corrupt court.”

Senate Democrats could try to move forward with their subpoenas as early as this week. If they do, Republicans are prepared to issue 150 subpoenas of their own to investigate those same sort of activities on the other side of the aisle, probing the activities of liberal Supreme Court justices and the gifts they receive from wealthy friends.

At the top of the list Paoletta unpacked is David Rubenstein, a liberal mega-donor who hosted Biden for Thanksgiving last week.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 20: David Rubenstein attends Iconic America: David Rubenstein and Ken Burns in conversation at The 92nd Street Y, New York on November 20, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)

Rubenstein has an extensive history of providing lavish travel and accommodations for liberals and Democrats, including at the Supreme Court. For example, he flew Justice Stephen Breyer up for a private wedding in Nantucket in 2014. No one said this was an ethics problem or called for reforms at the Supreme Court.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s ultra-wealthy family likewise paid Breyer to take a whopping 17 trips over the years, none of which was flagged by the left as threatening corruption at the nation’s highest court.

FILE – In this June 25, 2019, file photo, Gov. J. B. Pritzker signs a bill in Chicago. Pritzker’s administration says it will put more than $3.7 billion into highway construction next year alone. The Democrat on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019 released the annual update to the state’s transportation improvement program. (AP Photo/Amr Alfiky File)

Another is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom Israeli billionaire Morris Kahn flew around the Middle East, such as for lavish travel to Israel in 2018. Again, no ethics investigation.

The list of potential GOP subpoenas could provide fodder for dozens of news stories. They include everything from the GPS locations of Joe and Hunter Biden on certain dates (because that data can be reconstructed from various sources) to the deceased Jeffrey Epstein’s travel logs.

President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden arrive at Fort McNair, Sunday, June 25, 2023, in Washington. Hunter Biden has been charged with felony gun possession. A federal indictment filed in Delaware says Biden lied about his drug use when he bought a firearm in 2018 while struggling with addiction to crack cocaine. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Paoletta observed that although Senate Democrats would of course not vote to authorize those subpoenas, on the House side Chairmen Jim Jordan of the Judiciary Committee and James Comer of the Oversight Committee can issue those subpoenas. In fact, the rules governing House subpoenas are more easily enforced than Senate subpoenas, so this could prove even more effective than if Republicans held the majority in the Senate.

“The left continues to relentlessly attack the only branch of the federal government they do not currently dominate, evidently not caring about the structural damage their attacks inflict on our constitutional order,” former U.S. Ambassador Ken Blackwell responded to the interview, currently a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and chairman of a center at the America First Policy Institute.

Senate Judiciary Committee Dick Durbin (D-IL) has issued a notice of a hearing on Thursday to consider the subpoenas. That meeting might also consider up to six judicial nominations, however, so Durbin could save face by citing the fact that the clock could run out on that meeting as a reason not to vote on the subpoenas, if he is feeling the heat from power players on the left who might panic over the Republican subpoenas.

For example, according to one source working with Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) is concerned with some of the subpoena amendments that Republicans were offering, alerting Durbin that he might not vote to authorize certain subpoenas if they are brought for a vote.

If true, the example of senators like Ossoff in swing states that trend Republican like Georgia indicate concern by vulnerable Democrats that the left might be overplaying its hand, risking backlash from the voters.

“Polls continue to show the Supreme Court is more popular than Congress or Biden, even with all these attacks from the left attacking the court’s legitimacy,” Blackwell added. “Americans understand that a truly independent judiciary is essential to a free society, and they see through attempts to undermine the Supreme Court.”

Breitbart News senior legal contributor Ken Klukowski is a lawyer who served in the White House and Justice Department. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) @kenklukowski.

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