House Democrats have been making their case for impeaching Donald Trump during the televised House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday. Four expert witnesses Constitutional scholars, proved themselves to be filled with passion for the law. Interestingly enough, the Republicans have not been arguing against POTUS corruption.
Instead, those GOP committee members have been going after the witnesses and the processes around impeachment. The best antidote to their claims occurred when the Dems used the president’s own words against himself.
The issue of honoring subpoenas from Congress may be a subsection of the Democrat’s case or a stand-alone article. They let Trump speak in a video clip they aired during the hearing. In it, the commander-in-chief spoke last April about not cooperating with the committee’s investigations into his White House:
‘We’re fighting all the subpoenas.’
In a second clip from last July, they showed the president giving a speech in front of a Turning Point USA’s conference:
‘Then I have an Article II where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.’
Three witnesses testified for the Democrats’ argument that Trump committed impeachable offenses. Harvard University law professor Noah Feldman told the counsel for the Democrats, Norm Eisen:
‘As someone who cares about the Constitution, the second of those in particular struck a kind of horror in me.’
Feldman argued that Trump was robbing the House of Representatives of its right to function as an equal branch in the government and not “above the law:”
‘basic constitutional power of impeachment [putting himself above the law] by refusing to cooperate in the impeachment inquiry. A president who will not cooperate in an impeachment inquiry is putting himself above the law. The core of an impeachable offense.’
Then, Eisen asked whether he based his opinion on the videos of Trump speaking. Feldman said yes.
This hearing was the first where the House Judiciary Committee had begun considering possible articles of impeachment. They narrowed their case specifically toward the president’s actions regarding Ukraine.
Clearly, the narrow case will include these articles of impeachment: abuse of power, obstruction of justice, obstruction of Congress, and possibly bribery as a separate article of impeachment. Bribery was spelled out in the Constitution.
The man sitting in the Oval Office has claimed his innocence. He has said repeatedly that his phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was “perfect.” He also blamed Democrats, saying they wanted to find a way to interfere with his reelection.
The fourth expert, this one for the Republicans, Nathan Turley, argued his case against the president’s impeachment.
Tuesday, the House Intelligence Committee released its 300+ page report with a convenient brief summary in front of the more detailed data. The report alleged that the president abused his power when he withheld from Ukraine the already-approved $391 million military aid in to fight against the Russians. In return for announcing an investigation into Trump’s opponent, former vice-president Joe Biden, Zelensky would receive the aide.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.