No matter his consistent loudmouthed complaints about the process, House Democrats are continuing to develop their impeachment case against President Donald Trump ahead of a presumed full House approval of impeachment this week and a subsequent trial in the Senate early next year. This weekend on Fox News Sunday — in an appearance that Trump whined about on Twitter before it happened — House Intelligence Committee Chairman and impeachment investigation co-lead Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) denounced the president over his relentless obstruction of duly proceeding Congressional inquiry, asserting that it’s “perhaps the most serious” of the charges against him.
In other words — Democrats aren’t exactly relenting in their campaign to hold the president accountable for a significant breadth of his corruption.
Schiff explained in response to criticism over not including crimes more specific than “abuse of power” in their articles of impeachment that Congressional investigators “think that abuse of power most often characterizes the scope of the president’s misconduct,” which includes attempts at bribery, extortion, and more as part of his well-documented plot to try and get dirt on the Bidens from Ukraine in exchange for military aid. The articles of impeachment also include that charge for obstructing Congress, and Schiff explained:
‘Stonewalling completely and refusing to comply with the oversight of Congress, particularly during an impeachment inquiry, is an impeachable offense. Indeed — Richard Nixon was about to be impeached for a far less comprehensive effort to stonewall the Congress of his day. And I would just say to my Republican colleagues who seem to be on the verge of shirking their Constitutional duty — if they’re prepared to say that a president of the United States can simply say no to any Congressional subpoena and tie up the Congress for years in litigation — it is going to have to accept corruption, malfeasance, negligence, misconduct in any future president, Democrat or Republican. Are we really prepared to go down that road?’
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) December 15, 2019
Republicans seem ready to not just go down that road but speed down it. There has been essentially no substantive Republican opposition to the president over his Ukraine plot, although an extremely occasional Republican has said that the scheme was “not right” or “distasteful” or something similarly bland.
On the subject of the president’s obstruction, Schiff continued:
‘In many respects, I think this is the most serious of the articles because it would fundamentally alter the balance of power and allow for much greater misconduct in the chief executive of the country.’
It’s not like Trump has even tried to mask his complete obstruction of Congress in any legitimate terms. At one point, Trump insisted that he would fight “all the subpoenas,” as a rule — although a small number of current and former administration officials have testified to Congress anyway. That group has included figures like E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland and former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, and their firsthand testimony has proved crucial in establishing the case against Trump — although there are a whole lot of documents that the Trump administration has simply refused to provide despite a Congressional subpoena.