The Trump administration’s refusal to engage the committee has a small problem: two federal obstruction of justice statutes.
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Impeachment is both a political and a legal process. It is not unconstrained by precedent, nor is it controlled by it. In the course of impeachment, legislators may be guided by a sense of constitutional responsibility, but they also keep their eye on public opinion polls. They are sensitive to the constitutional history they are writing. Lawmakers also prefer reelection to defeat. Nothing they say in one moment about process or substance may hold under the pressure of events or swings in public sentiment.
All that’s left to defenders of President Trump in Congress is to make noise.
White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney made a stunning admission of a quid pro quo by confirming that President Donald Trump
The aggressive letter from the White House counsel to Congress, announcing that the president will not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, is further evidence of the deterioration of norms in the conduct of senior government positions.
Over the weekend, the president sent a tweet that seemed to warn of civil war if he were to be impeached and removed from office:
....If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.” Pastor Robert Jeffress, @FoxNews
As of Sept. 24, the House of Representatives has formally launched impeachment proceedings against President Trump.
On Sept. 9, the House Judiciary Committee released a draft copy of a “Resolution for Investigative Procedures Offered by Chairman Jerrold Nadler,” which outlines procedures that will apply to “the presentation of information in connection with the Committee’s investigation to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment with respect to President Donald J.
The inspector general of the United States Department of Justice says that a witness to gross misconduct by the president of the United States has a duty to keep his mouth shut.
Over the weekend, President Trump cited a 1977 statute, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), as providing the legal authority he would need to carry through on his “order” that American companies “immediately start looking for an alternative to China.” IEEPA, which serves as the legal basis for many of America’s economic sanctions programs, almost certainly gives Trump the legal power he claims.