Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel attacked President Donald Trump in a speech Saturday, saying his deflection of the impeachment inquiry is “how democracies die.”
Nessel delivered the keynote address Saturday at the “FOIA Festival” put on by the Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists at Wayne State University. Nessel said she was “deeply ashamed” that Michigan is the only state in the nation that exempts the governor and state lawmakers from FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests.
“We are not opening the doors to state government,” she said, according to The Detroit News. “In fact we are locking them with deadbolts, and then we are nailing boards across them, and then there’s a moat. That’s what FOIA feels likes with our state government.”
Nessel said she’s “embarrassed on various levels for our lack of transparency in Michigan,” but said “what’s happening in the federal government right now is absolutely unacceptable.”
She concluded her speech by going “off script” and targeting President Trump for refusing to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, saying it could cause “the end of the America that we know.”
“This is how democracies die—when your government is clearly keeping you from knowing what it’s doing behind closed doors,” she said.
She criticized the president for his “extraordinary effort” to “make sure no one sees his taxes, or the recordings or transcripts of suspicious calls he had with foreign leaders or lately blocking these subpoenaed witnesses from testifying before the House.”
“It’s very concerning to me. So I think that all of our worst concerns and fears about democracy dying because we don’t have access to the information that we deserve to have—not just as Michiganders but as American citizens—those things are all coming to fruition right now,” she said.
Nessel then criticized people who “are contributing to this veil of secrecy and defending this,” saying they are “aiders and abettors in the destruction of our democratic systems and institutions here in the United States of America.”
“I hope that as we move forward that not only will all of you continue to hold your state and federal government accountable, but that we can make our citizenry and our state residents understand the great importance of the work that you do,” she concluded.
"It will be the end of the America that we know and love" without things like #FOIA and the Open Meetings Act, Attorney General @dananessel said at the #FOIAfest at Wayne State University pic.twitter.com/YCYJX0NRHr
— Dana Afana (@DanaAfana) October 12, 2019
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Background Photo “Dana Nessel Speaking” by Dana Afana.