The House will have to do more than just subpoena Emily Murphy for failing to show up today


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The House should, and probably will, subpoena Emily Murphy for failing to show up today. But subpoenas are not magic wands. It could take a year to get a judge to order her to testify. There are other, more effective leverage points for going after her.

Keep in mind that House hearings rarely trigger change. Hearings usually play to a stalemate. It’s the threat of a hearing, having to get a lawyer for it, litigation costs of fighting a subpoena, and so on, that are more likely to force someone’s hand. These things tend to take place behind the scenes, as opposed to some big grand gesture in public.

In any case, no one on either side of this battle has a magic wand. There’s no way for the House to just magically force Emily Murphy to immediately sign the transition papers. Nor will Murphy just skate into the sunset after she finishes dragging it out. She’s making it ugly for us and for herself.

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