Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff floated a new idea to me at an Axios News Shapers event this morning about how to enforce subpoenas against the Trump administration: fine officials who ignore them.
Why it matters: It's a risky move for House Democrats if they go ahead with it — because it's a largely untested idea, it's not 100% clear that Congress has the authority to do it, and it's definitely not clear how they would enforce it.
How it works, via Axios managing editor David Nather:
The catch: A Congressional Research Service report says it's an "open question" whether Congress actually has the authority to do that. It's never happened before, per CRS, but "there may be an argument supporting the existence of that power" — largely because of a passing mention of it in an 1880 Supreme Court case.
What's next: House Democrats will have to figure out if this is actually workable, and Schiff acknowledged that the decision will be made "above my pay grade" — by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in consultation with the committee chairs. "But if there is going to be this across-the-board stonewalling, we're going to have to consider extraordinary remedies."
The bottom line: The fact that House Democrats are thinking about such an untested step, and that Schiff was willing to discuss it at such an early stage, shows how eager they are to explore any options that don't involve letting Trump run out the clock in the courts.
Go deeper: How Trump can stall House Democrats
Photo: George Frey/Getty Images
Here's how people in Promontory, Utah re-enacted the champagne toast that marked the driving of the Golden Spike that finished the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869.
A Lyft logo on a car driving through Times Square. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Next time you climb into the back seat of a rideshare vehicle like Uber or Lyft, you can ponder the germ-infested hellhole you're probably sitting in while you ride to your destination, per USA Today.