Dear Democrats, We along with the US House Intel Chair Rep Adam Schiff get that’s it’s not a politically convenient time to begin the impeachment inquiry hearings based on the findings documented in the FBI’s 3/22/2019 final report on its 22 months long Trump-Russia probe led by the Special Counsel Robert Mueller III. It’s obvious that the Republican Party led US Senate will not vote in favor of impeachment. Yes, President Trump will probably use the ‘impeachment process’ to play the victim card while he campaigns for reelection in 2020 but he would do this under any set of circumstances..
None of the above rationalizations gives license for the Democratic Party majority lawmakers in the US House of Representatives to side step honoring their obligations as set forth in the US Constitution. Any objective reading of the FBI’s Mueller report, details several examples of President Trump demonstrating a consistent pattern to “obstruct justice’ which amply meets the standard of him having committed “high crimes and mis-demeanors.” This places the onus on the US House members of the US Congress to honor its constitutional duty to uphold the rule of law. This isn’t an optional consideration.
The starting of an impeachment process after hearing from key witnesses like the FBI’s Special Counsel Robert Mueller III, is crucial, not just for the US Congress to finally stand up for the ‘rule of law’ which has been trampled on by this president and his allies, but for US national security reasons. With the impeachment inquiry formal status in hand, it will be easier to collect the president’s financial records. It’s time to face the reality of determining how compromised President Trump has become because of all his financial dealings with foreign governments, especially with Russia, Saudi Arabia and UAE.
This is a test. Will Democrats honor their oaths of office and the US Constitution, or will they act like republicans, making consequential decisions solely on the basis of what’s best for them, politically?
Yes, Democrats can do their solemn duty of holding the president accountable for his misdeeds, while those on the campaign trail can seriously and substantively address their constituents, bread and butter concerns.
Remember the saying, . “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing.” The only thing worse would be for good men to pretend they are confronting evil while avoiding any political risk.
Here’s the rest of the story…
On April 20,2019, Susan Hennessey and Quinta Jurecic of LawFare penned the following report, “The Mueller Report Demands an Impeachment Inquiry”
“Here is, as Bill Barr might call it, “the bottom line”: The Mueller Report describes, in excruciating detail and with relatively few redactions, a candidate and a campaign aware of the existence of a plot by a hostile foreign government to criminally interfere in the U.S. election for the purpose of supporting that candidate’s side. It describes a candidate and a campaign who welcomed the efforts and delighted in the assistance. It describes a candidate and a campaign who brazenly and serially lied to the American people about the existence of the foreign conspiracy and their contacts with it. And yet, it does not find evidence to support a charge of criminal conspiracy, which requires not just a shared purpose but a meeting of the minds.”
“Here is the other bottom line: The Mueller Report describes a president who, on numerous occasions, engaged in conduct calculated to hinder a federal investigation. It finds ample evidence that at least a portion of that conduct met all of the statutory elements of criminal obstruction of justice. In some of the instances in which all of the statutory elements of obstruction are met, the report finds no persuasive constitutional or factual defenses.”
“Now, the House must decide what to do with these facts. If it wants to actually confront the substance of the report, it will introduce a resolution to begin an impeachment inquiry.”
“So far, House members haven’t shown much appetite to do so. Republicans seem prepared to just put this unpleasantness behind them. On the Democratic side, there’s a clear reticence in the leadership to initiate an impeachment inquiry that may or may not backfire. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer even suggested shortly after the (Mueller) report came out that his party should instead focus on the 2020 election, though he later walked those statements back. There are a few exceptions—for example, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who said she’d sign onto a previously introduced impeachment resolution. On the other side of the Hill, 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren declared that members of Congress should “do their constitutional duty.”
“The problem with this approach is that, under the current system, the options for checking a president who abuses his power to the degree that Trump has are functionally impeachment proceedings or nothing.”
“There are many factors here, but the main culprit is the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC)’s 2000 memo against the indictment of a sitting president—which itself builds on a 1973 OLC memo, drafted during Watergate, which reached the same conclusion.”
“The 2000 memo played a key role in shaping Mueller’s decision not to reach a traditional prosecutorial judgment on the issue of presidential obstruction of justice. But while it was reasonable for the special counsel’s office to consider itself bound by OLC’s reasoning, it produces a baffling end result: Mueller is barred, as he understands it, from reaching the point in his analysis at which he would make a call as to prosecution or declination of obstruction. Indeed, he will not even say explicitly whether he believes that the president has committed crimes. He is clear, however, that if he could exonerate Trump on the basis of the available evidence, he would do so. And he isn’t doing so. This means that, by Mueller’s read, it is only possible for an investigation to exonerate the president consistent with the OLC memo—he cannot be charged and uncharged crimes must remain unspoken.”
“Mueller’s solution is to pass the question to Congress. He isn’t especially subtle in doing so. He notes that “a federal criminal accusation against a sitting President would … potentially preempt constitutional processes for addressing presidential misconduct,” then flags in a footnote the Constitution’s clauses on impeachment and the OLC opinion’s discussion of the “relationship between impeachment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president.” In other words, he is saying that while he is not permitted to determine if the president committed a crime, Congress can judge the president’s conduct itself.”
“The relevant section of the OLC memo reasons that “the constitutionally specified impeachment process ensures that the immunity would not place the President ‘above the law.’” This is worth dwelling on: the Office of Legal Counsel found that ruling out presidential liability for criminal conduct was not a threat to the rule of law because of the availability of impeachment as a remedy. But if impeachment is presumptively off the table in the face of facts as extreme as those the Mueller Report contains, then it’s reasonable to ask whether impeachment is truly available at all where members of the president’s party in the Senate comprise a sufficient number to block removal. In other words, does the current situation prove that impeachment isn’t the capacity of one branch to check another but rather a crude measure of party votes? If so, it would seem that the OLC’s reasoning falls apart—at least in practical terms.”
“Currently, there are bad incentives on both sides of the aisle. Republicans don’t want to touch the matter because the president is a member of their party. His agenda aligns with theirs on many issues, and they fear angering his base in a way that might imperil their own reelection. Democrats, on the other hand, are worried that initiating impeachment proceedings will offer the president a rallying point for his base, and allow Republicans to paint them as fanatics out to get Trump at all costs. Besides, the thinking goes, Democratic base voters want to discuss policy issues that impact their lives, not perseverate on the many president’s sins.”
“The problem is that impeachment isn’t a purely political matter—though certainly it is political in part.”
“It’s a constitutional expression of the separation of powers, of Congress’s ability to check a chief executive overrunning the bounds of his power. It’s also, under the OLC memo, the only release valve in the constitutional structure for the urgent and mounting pressure of an executive who may have committed serious wrongdoing. To say that the appropriate course is to simply wait for the next presidential election in 18 months, is to offer a judgment that—even in light of his conduct as described by Mueller—Trump is not truly unfit for the office. It’s to say he is no different from, say, Vice President Mike Pence, who would take his place, or any other Republican for that matter. It’s to say that what matters is winning elections, even if it risks further institutional harms.”
There is a danger to this mode of thinking, which is that Democrats would deem to tolerate the institutional harms that would come from not initiating a serious impeachment inquiry against President Trump because what really matters is winning the 2020 election.”
Link to report: The Mueller Report Demands an Impeachment Inquiry