Liberals cribbing from conservatives’ playbook to attack Trump
Activists are modeling their efforts after Judicial Watch’s successful efforts to antagonize Clinton. By JOSH GERSTEIN
The post-election scramble to build a liberal version of Judicial Watch is underway. The working theory: if you can’t beat ‘em, copy 'em.
Activists and donors on the left looking to avenge Hillary Clinton’s loss have zeroed in on how the conservative watchdog peppered the Democratic nominee with lawsuits over her use of a private email server and managed to drag out the damaging story through much of the election year. Some are eager to create a similar organization to try to take a pound of political flesh out of incoming President Donald Trump.
“Judicial Watch has a $30 million budget, and they had a significant impact on the election,” Clinton ally David Brock said. “And if we’re heading into an administration that looks like it could well be as corrupt as the gilded age, we need to significantly reinforce the capacities for an aggressive ethics watchdog.”
Some liberals view the task as particularly urgent given the Democratic Party’s minority status in both the House and Senate. That means Democratic lawmakers will have difficulty demanding access to government records or forcing hearings on Trump administration actions, unless Republicans decide to join in.
"Any time there’s one-party rule, people should be terrified. What remains of the traditional checks and balances is evaporating, just as Trump and Pence are assuming office,” said transparency activist Ryan Shapiro. “The press and transparency groups are some of the few things remaining that can make sure the public knows what government is up to.”
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