Let the House of Representatives Do Its Constitutional Duty: Investigate Now!

There seems to be some disagreement among Congressional Democrats about how to proceed in light of the Mueller Report and Attorney General’s dishonest attempt to cover-up the President’s misconduct. One group of Democrats wants to introduce a Bill of Impeachment immediately, while others want to drop all discussion of impeachment. Neither of these positions seems quite right: the next step in the Constitutional process is not impeachment but, rather, a thorough Congressional investigation of the conclusions and evidence in Mueller’s report.

Impeachment is the Constitutional process that allows Congress to hold officials -including the President - accountable for outrageous misconduct. The Constitution speaks of impeachment for officials who engage in “high crimes and misdemeanors” but it does not define those crimes. While we reject the attempt by Attorney William Barr to hijack the Mueller Report and short-circuit the public discussion of the findings, we also reject the notion that Democrats should either begin impeachment or simply wait until the 2020 election to try to oust Trump from office. It is not up to Attorney General Barr, Donald Trump or Nancy Pelosi to make this determination. It is up to the House of Representatives as a whole to examine and weigh the evidence in the Mueller Report and then decide.

From what we know of the Mueller Report, it clearly raises the question of whether President Trump has committed obstruction of justice which is a felony. Trump’s Attorney General has refused to acknowledge the conclusion accurately and is attempting to hide the damning sections of the report from the public. It is now up to the House of Representatives to conduct its Constitutionally mandated investigation into the evidence. Determining whether to impeach the President should be the culmination of thorough investigation, open public hearings and careful deliberation. 

Following the Watergate break-in, numerous carefully orchestrated congressional hearings and investigations amassed public evidence of criminal wrong doing on the part of President Nixon.  As evidence was presented and examined and administration officials were interrogated, it became obvious that the evidence existed to vote for Articles of Impeachment. Throughout this process there was political wrangling and partisan rancor, but the investigations were pursued with deliberation and integrity. The House did its work carefully and, finally, “checked” the powers of the Executive branch in the person of President Nixon when he was forced to resign. 

Now is the time for a similarly rigorous continuation of the investigations already begun by the House Judiciary, Oversight, Intelligence and Finance Committees.  Using all their powers of subpoena and citations of contempt of Congress if necessary, these hearings will lay the constitutional and political groundwork for deciding the question “to impeach or not impeach”. That will be the time for this compelling and historic question.

Call To Action

 Call your elected representatives in the House of Representatives (Democrats and Republicans) and insist that they support careful and rigorous hearings into the actions of President Trump and his officials by the House Oversight Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. Insist that Executive branch officials be compelled to give truthful testimony to these committees.  

Ask your Democratic representatives to resist immediate calls for impeachment, but to work tirelessly to bring the evidence of Trump’s misconduct to light.