Donald Trump could face impeachment for his attempts to stonewall the investigation into his possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign, a former ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration said.
Richard W. Painter, a frequent critic of Trump, said on Wednesday that the White House’s reluctance to comply with Congress’s demands to release documents on Michael Flynn could be fodder for impeachment.
“US House must subpoena the docs,” Painter tweeted (via the Independent). “If no compliance, impeach.”
“Zero tolerance for WH covering up foreign payoffs.”
Flynn is under fire for his short time as Trump’s National Security Advisor, before it emerged that he lied about contact with the Russian ambassador to the United States, with the two talking on the day Barack Obama announced new sanctions on Russia for its interference in the 2016 election. New reports have disclosed that Flynn also may have broken the law by failing to disclose payments from Turkey and Russia.
Congressman Jason Chaffetz, the chair of an investigation arm of Congress looking at Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, said that Flynn could face legal consequences for the payments received without permission from the State Department or Pentagon.
Flynn was reportedly paid more than $500,000 with a lobbying firm benefiting Turkey and for his work for Russia’s government-owned television network, RT.
“As a former military officer, you simply cannot take money from Russia, Turkey or anybody else. And it appears as if he did take that money. It was inappropriate. And there are repercussions for the violation of law,” Chaffetz said via the Independent.
“I see no data to support the notion that Gen. Flynn Complied with the law,” Chaffetz added.
Pentagon inspector general launches Flynn investigation https://t.co/X9YAupYCSD— Tom Flowers ???? (@TomFlowers) April 27, 2017
The scandal has turned back on the White House, which has been hesitant to hand over documents related to Flynn’s payments. Congress may subpoena the White House for those documents, but has note done so.
There has been a growing scandal regarding Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, with allegations that Trump’s campaign team coordinated the release of emails stolen from Clinton’s campaign chief and the Democratic National Committee in exchange for lessening sanctions on Russia. Trump and top officials on his campaign have denied any collusion with Russia.
The alleged attempts to stonewall the Russia investigation may not be the only actions that lead to Donald Trump’s impeachment. This week, a legal affairs expert noted that Trump’s Twitter tantrum about a court ruling against sanctuary cities might be grounds to run him out of office.
Jay Michaelson, a legal expert, wrote in The Daily Beast that Trump’s attack on the court that overturned his attack on so-called sanctuary cities was riddled with unfounded attacks.
“Yet again,” Michaelson wrote, “this time in a case involving his threat to withhold funding from so-called ‘sanctuary cities,’ Trump’s careless out-of-court statements have come to bite him in the behind, just as they did in the travel ban cases. You can almost hear his lawyers sigh with exasperation.”
“And yet, following the judge’s injunction against the sanctuary cities order, finding it overbroad and likely unconstitutional, Trump issued yet more outrageous statements, more lies, and more of a record for what would be the president’s ultimate court case: his impeachment trial.”
Michaelson added that he was not overly optimistic that Donald Trump would face impeachment, but said there would be more than ample grounds to do so.
If there are impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump, there would first need to be a major shift in Congress. Republicans have control of both the House and Senate, so for any impeachment actions to move forward, it would take a considerable number of GOP representatives to jump sides.
[Featured Image by Olivier Doulieryl/ Pool/ Getty Images]