Judiciary Committee chairman Jerold Nadler said “full steam ahead,” after Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared the the president broke the law and therefore the impeachment process will go ahead. Donald Trump “must be held accountable,” said Pelosi in her statement to the nation to open an impeachment inquiry into Trump, a step that more than two hundred House Democrats support. Charlie Savage, Washington correspondent for the New York Times explained the impeachment is one way to remove the president before his four year term is up. If the House votes by a simple majority for one or more articles of impeachment, that is an indictment of the president. Then there will be a trial in the Senate, overseen by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and there will be prosecutors played by House managers, and defense attorneys for the president. At the end of the trial the Senate will vote. It will take 2/3, a super majority, not a simple majority to remove the president.
Harvard Professor Cass Sunstein, says “the main thing to focus on is the constitutional standard, high crimes and misdemeanors. That means there has to be egregious abuse of presidential authority.” And our legislators don’t need to look too far for evidence of unlawful conduct by Trump. President Trump’s call to the president of Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden, son of former Vice-president Joe Biden as a quid pro quo regarding military aid. He asked for a favor in exchange for releasing the funds. A whistleblower report alerted Congress to Trump’s illegal request. Rudy Giuliani went to speak with the Ukrainians precisely to press for an investigation, as he himself has stated. And even more surprising in the same context, Trump asked the president of Ukraine to have his prosecutor speak to Attorney General William Barr and Rudy Giuliani. Tump has thought from his first day in office that nothing would happen to him, but this might be the last straw.
The Mueller Report cited eight instances of obstruction of justice, from the firing of FBI Director James Comey, to embracing Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, jailing immigrant mothers and children, directing the Pentagon to spend funds to build his wall, denying stay to sick children, and many other offenses that might not meet the requirements for impeachment but reveal his lack of basic decency and his disregard fo the law. The Mueller Report outlined a series of illegal actions by the president, but Bob Mueller saw his role as limited to providing the roadmap to impeachment, leaving it at the doorstep of Congress. Thomas Jefferson had already expressed doubts about the intelligence of the legislature when he was attempting to enact laws that would make Virginia a model for education. The fact that it has taken this long to make a decision about an investigation tells us that Jefferson’s opinion was justified. Six committees are investigating the Trump administration. Nancy Pelosi will now have all the facts she needs. There is no witch hunt, and the facts will speak for themselves.