The House Judiciary Committee members found two articles of impeachment against Donald J. Trump. They charged him with soliciting another country to help intrude in the 2020 presidential campaign for him and against the person he considers his top opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.
They wanted to include a third article addressing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, but House Speaker said no. The committee found a way around it, claiming that this was a “pattern of behavior…consistent with Russia.” In his opening statement House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold (Jerry) Nadler (D-NY) said, according to The Washington Examiner:
‘President Trump welcomed foreign interference in the 2016 election. He demanded it for the 2020 election. In both cases, he got caught, and in both cases, he did everything in his power to prevent the American people from learning the truth about his conduct.’
Constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley testified before the committee for the Republicans. He said:
‘It is an effort to condemn by implication It is the introduction of an extrinsic, unproven claim to augment what is manifestly an incomplete and thin record.’
The first article of impeachment was about Trump’s alleged abuse of power by asking Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, swaying it to a Trump win. He urged the new president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky to go on American television and announced a fake investigation into Biden. Only after the Ukrainian did that would Trump release the country’s direly-needed $391 million in military aid to Russia.
Thus, this was consistent with Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign invitation to Russia to do the same. POTUS had asked Russia to find his opponent former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails on live television.
Mueller noted that Moscow thought it would do better with Trump in the White House. Putin did not like Clinton, believing she interfered in his election. Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) called Trump a “serial solicitor” of foreign interfering.
Representative John Ratcliffe (R-TX) summed up how the Republicans felt about this:
“Gee, where have I heard that before? I remember. The same colleagues across the aisle first falsely accused the president of collusion and conspiracy with Russia. And when that fell apart, they accused him of obstructing justice into their investigation of false collusion and conspiracy allegations. Every time Democrats get caught trying to frame this president with some crime he didn’t commit, they follow up by accusing him of obstructing their efforts to frame him for the things he never did in the first place.’
The second article of impeachment goes into detail about the obstruction of Congress. They claimed the president improperly used his executive privilege against lawful subpoenas from the committees.
‘(He) assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the ‘sole Power of Impeachment’ vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives.’
Then, the second article noted:
‘[T]hese actions were consistent with President Trump’s previous efforts to undermine U.S. government investigations into foreign interference in United States elections.’
The Mueller report included “10 possible instances of obstruction of justice:”
‘While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him, because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President’s conduct.’
Last week, Schiff said:
‘The argument “Why don’t you just wait?” amounts to this: “Why don’t you just let him cheat in one more election? Why not let him cheat just one more time? Why not let him have foreign help just one more time?”‘
Turley said that these references in Mueller’s report influenced the articles of impeachment against Trump:
‘Both Attorney General Bill Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein rejected any obstruction claim over the Mueller findings…and should not be viewed as a proper component of an impeachment case.’
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.