House Democrats are not giving up their push to exercise their Constitutionally mandated oversight of the Trump administration anytime soon. This weekend on CBS, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) suggested starting impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump may be necessary to get at the information they’re after and hold the president and his associates accountable for it.
He told host Margaret Brennan:
‘What may be pushing us in the direction of impeachment [is]… the fact that the administration is engaging in a maximum obstructionism campaign against Congress… I think that we are seeing more members that recognize the administration is acting in a lawless fashion… If we conclude that there’s no other way to… show the American people what this president has done, his unethical and illegal acts as outlined in the Mueller report, then we may get there… It provides an additional tool.’
.@RepAdamSchiff says the admin’s “maximum obstructionism campaign” may be pushing the House in the direction of impeachment: “If the only way that we can do our oversight is through an impeachment proceeding, then maybe we have to go down that road.” pic.twitter.com/hPk3shR0Dz
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) May 19, 2019
The Trump administration has consistently rebuffed House Democrats’ oversight efforts, refusing to cooperate with everything from probes into their security clearance process to clearly legally allowed demands for the president’s tax returns, an issue that will likely soon be going to court. Just recently, the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold controversial Trump shill Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with their own subpoena, and the president has declared executive privilege over the entire final report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation in an effort to keep people from seeing it. The list could go on from there.
Just this weekend, the first Republican member of Congress expressed their support for impeaching Trump in the face of these issues. Michigan Congressman Justin Amash said that after reviewing the final report from Mueller’s investigation, he’d concluded that:
‘President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.’
Trump, unsurprisingly, lashed out at Amash, deriding him on Twitter as a “loser who sadly plays right into our opponents hands!” That’s not exactly an insurmountable legal strategy. If impeachment ever does happen, Trump won’t be able to get out of scrutiny by pointing at his opponents and angrily shouting that they’re losers or by lying that Mueller provided him full and total exoneration, as he’s also done.
Brennan had asked Schiff about impeachment in the context of Amash’s remarks because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had suggested that despite repeated rounds of impeachable conduct from the president, there’d need to be bipartisan support before Democrats would launch a case considering without it, it’s likely to get nowhere in the Republican-controlled Senate. Schiff noted this weekend that Senate Republicans have continued to turn a blind eye to the president’s behavior, largely falling in line, even as Trump continues to act so flagrantly that Pelosi quipped the president “every day gives grounds for impeachment.”
Democrats are hoping to turn rising sentiment against Trump into wide electoral wins in 2020. Leading presidential primary contender and former Vice President Joe Biden has consistently polled well against Trump in hypothetical general election match-ups, garnering an average of an eight percent lead. So in other words, Trump definitely has a good reason to worry.
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