Americans continue to deal with the ramifications of the Russia investigation — some do, at least, unless you’re a part of the majority of Republicans who’ve simply buried their heads in the sand. This week, Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden came out cautiously in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump following an abruptly called press conference from Special Counsel Robert Mueller himself marking the end of his Russia probe.
Biden’s statement, issued through his campaign, recounts two key points. Firstly, there remains a very real threat from Russian interference in U.S. elections that the current president hasn’t just ignored but actively cultivated and consciously benefited from, even in the absence of a criminally prosecutable conspiracy. Additionally, Mueller was stopped in his tracks from pursuing a case of obstruction of justice against the president because of standing Justice Department precedent against filing criminal charges against a sitting commander-in-chief, not because of a clear lack of guilt.
‘Vice President Biden agrees with Speaker Pelosi that no one would relish what would certainly be a divisive impeachment process, but that it may be unavoidable if this Administration continues on its path. For all these reasons and many more, Vice President Biden will continue to make the case as to why President Trump should not be re-elected.’
— TJ Ducklo (@TDucklo) May 29, 2019
As the former vice president also noted, the Trump administration has relentlessly stonewalled Congressional investigations into parts of their behavior both covered by the Russia scandal and outside of it, steps that Biden calls “flagrant attacks on the rule of law.” They’ve refused to comply with subpoenas, refused to provide documents, and publicly claimed that there’s not even any basis on which to continue any investigations, despite the evidence. During his Wednesday press conference, Mueller himself reiterated the importance of his investigation no matter what criminal charges did or did not stem from it.
Trump and his associates don’t care. Besides his rebuttals to Congressional investigations that Biden mentioned, the president has also directed an investigation into the investigators, allowing noted Trump shill Attorney General William Barr to declassify whatever he feels like related to the origin of the Russia investigation. That unilateral permission could jeopardize U.S. intelligence processes, which Trump has denounced in part as “spying” against his campaign despite the complete lack of evidence of any kind of wrongdoing carried out by investigating authorities.
In the face of these issues, other prominent Democrats have not just expressed passive support for impeachment but gone farther than Biden, explicitly saying the process needs to get underway. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Kamala Harris (Calif.), both of whom are running for president, might be among the most prominent of these — Warren was the first candidate to make the call, which she issued following reading the final report from Mueller’s probe.
This week, Michigan Congressman Justin Amash, who is the lone Republican to support impeaching Trump, suggested at a town hall event that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) hadn’t even read the report. Dozens of House Democrats have also joined in calling for impeachment.
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