As Trump’s Lawlessness Escalates, Calls For Impeachment Surge
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has a choice to make. While she and some members of Democratic leadership seek to maintain the methodical course they’re on, other House Democrats have begun to publicly call for an impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s corrupt conduct. Those calls reached a fever pitch this week.
The White House’s unprecedented stonewalling of the over 20 Democratic investigations has been unrelenting. Today, former White House Counsel Don McGahn didn’t appear for his subpoenaed testimony before the House Judiciary Committee after President Trump “instructed” him not to. Last week, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin defied a subpoena from the House Ways and Means Committee requesting President Trump’s tax returns (it turns out an internal IRS memo indicated the move was illegal). The week before that, Attorney General William Barr failed to comply with a congressional subpoena for the full unredacted Mueller report and was held in contempt by the House Judiciary Committee.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report outlined 10 key areas of obstruction of justice on the part of President Trump. Barr attempted to clear President Trump of all wrongdoing and misrepresented Mueller’s findings. Over 800 federal prosecutors then signed a letter stating that Trump would be indicted if he wasn’t President. The lawlessness of President Trump isn’t debatable among Democrats. The question is, what to do about it?
To begin an impeachment inquiry, the House Judiciary Committee would need to vote to launch it. Their committee would then be endowed with grand jury powers which would strengthen their ability to compel witness testimony and documents currently being withheld by the Trump Administration. As more Democratic lawmakers began to call for impeachment, Speaker Pelosi scheduled a meeting with her caucus for Wednesday morning.
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said that they have the support necessary to launch it. It appears all eyes are on Nancy Pelosi.
“80-90% of the committee is on board to go forward” with impeachment inquiry@RepCohen on House Judiciary Committee pic.twitter.com/vpUmqOYufL
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) May 21, 2019
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The Democratic caucus appears to be as divided on impeachment as Rantt’s Slack chat was today (which you can join above) as members of our team and community debated the timing of impeachment. Arguments in favor of immediate impeachment proceedings included that Democrats need to uphold the Constitution and do the right thing. While Democrats outline the facts of President Trump’s corruption, support for impeachment will rise.
On the other side of that argument is the claim that the Trump administration has been further building the case for impeachment with every passing day. A federal judge just ruled in favor of Congress when it comes to obtaining records from President Trump’s accounting firm. The Trump Administration’s stonewalling is increasing in its blatant corruption. The case for impeachment is stronger today than it was two weeks ago and support for impeachment among the public has risen to 45%.
The “Democrats are overreaching” narrative has been replaced with some members of the media calling for impeachment themselves. It’s clear that House Democrats are better positioned to launch an impeachment inquiry now than they were last month. The question is, when is the time to strike? Do they continue to push forward and secure court rulings in their favor while President Trump stonewalls, or do they push forward with impeachment now? Either way, it appears many Democratic lawmakers and voters are growing impatient.
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