Start An Inquiry into Trump’s Impeachable Offenses
Representative Rashida Tlaib writes:
Donald Trump is living a lie. He’s claimed the thoroughly researched Mueller report “vindicates” him, despite the fact that it details more than 10 instances where he obstructed justice.
We now know that Mueller personally told Barr that his initial summary deceived the public. The Trump Administration's response to the Mueller report was to obstruct justice further. And by refusing to begin an impeachment inquiry, many of my colleagues in Congress enable Trump’s lies.
I want you to know that by passing this resolution, members of Congress won’t be voting on whether to impeach Trump. They’ll simply enable the start of the long, careful investigation into whether he committed impeachable offenses.
History will look back to see what we did in this moment.
In addition to what we found out from the redacted—but damning—Mueller report, Donald Trump violated our Constitution and eroded our democracy in plain sight. Here are just a few examples:
Trump’s cruel policy of separating children from their families and imprisoning them violates our constitutional rights to due process and equal protection under the law.
By not divesting from his foreign or domestic businesses, Trump lets corporations and governments buy influence through supporting those businesses. He violates the Constitution’s emoluments clause in plain sight, including tweeting about how his golf courses in certain countries shape our international alliances.
Trump instructed members of his administration to break the law multiple times—and in some cases he has illegally offered them a pardon if they faced conviction.
He abused his presidential powers by declaring a fake national emergency (after holding federal workers hostage for months). This dangerously undermines our fundamental separation of government powers.
Once my resolution is authorized, the Judiciary Committee can begin televised public hearings, and will be on stronger legal footing to get the evidence that Trump is hiding. Only after a thorough investigative process would the Committee write up articles of impeachment for the House to vote on.
Back during Nixon’s presidency in the 1970s, the Democrats began an impeachment inquiry without knowing where it would go, and with less public support for impeachment than there is right now. They believed the American people deserved to know the truth. During the long process, public opinion shifted. About 70% of Americans watched the public hearings and about 60% came to think that Nixon should leave office.
Recently Rep. Adam Schiff, head of the Intelligence Committee, said that what’s documented in the redacted Mueller report is “far worse” than the Watergate scandal.
I’m a civil rights lawyer, so it’s important to me that nobody in this country is above the law. If we don’t even try to hold Trump accountable—if we wait until the 2020 election as some of my colleagues would like to do—we will set a terrifying precedent for future leaders.