In a radio interview over the weekend, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) characterized U.S. Attorney General Barr’s refusal to testify before the U.S. House–and Trump’s statement that other White House officials won’t cooperate with the investigation–as a “negotiating position.”
Asked by KNUS 710-AM’s Craig Silverman if he thought it was a “viable position” for Trump officials to refuse to testify before Congress, Gardner said implied that he didn’t think it was viable:
GARDNER: “I think you are seeing a bit of sort of negotiating positions by both the Democratic majority in the House, and by the Administration. And I think part of this public discussion is giving time for the private discussions to occur–on how the committee hearing would work and how that testimony is allowed to move forward. So I think that is exactly how they are trying to negotiate.”
Gardner has demonstrated his support for congressional investigations, voting in 2011 to subpoena White House documents relating to Solyndra, a solar company, even though the Obama White House indicated it was producing documents for the House committee.
Gardner’s office didn’t return a call seeking to know what he thought Congress should do if it turns out not to be a negotiating position by Trump.
Nor did he say if he thought Trump should stick to his position of 1) refusing to cooperate with congressional investigators and, specifically, 2) not allowing White House officials to testify.
But Gardner repeated his position that Special Prosecutor Bob Mueller should testify to Congress
“I don’t think any testimony that he gives will be any different than anything that’s in the report,” said Gardner on air. “That’s what Bill Barr has said. That’s what Lindsey Graham has said. That’s what others have said. I think that testimony will just line up with what the American people have already seen through the release of that report.”
On Saturday, Gardner repeated his view that it’s really a “revenge majority” in the House, explaining that he doesn’t think Democrats are “interested in a fair opportunity” to ask questions but instead “getting revenge for an election that occurred in 2016 that they just disagreed with.
The wide-ranging interview also touched on Colorado’s new red flag law, allowing judges to approve requests from law enforcement officials to take guns from dangerous people.
“Bottom line, Senator Gardner” asked Silverman. “You went to CU Law School. Do you think that a red flag law could be crafted that protects people’s due process rights and 2nd Amendment rights and still protects the people?”
“You could possibly craft a bill to protect the Constitution,” replied Gardner. “I don’t know that you could construct it as they wrote it in 2018 or 2019 that way.”
This puts Gardner at odds with state Republicans who backed a red-flag legislation in 2019, but it aligns with other conservatives who believe a red-flag measure could work if constructed properly.
But Gardner’s statement that mental healthcare should be the focus of legislation, not guns, is widely shared by conservatives.
Listen to Gardner’s May 4 appearance here: