A new report suggests Donald Trump may yet be impeached, with or without damning allegations coming through in the long-expected Mueller report, after years of Democrats trying to dodge the issue.
As the Huffington Post reports, some House Democrats believe they can no longer ignore the list of alleged impeachable offenses committed by Trump. However, Democrats have been reluctant to take such a step.
“At some point, it’s like if this guy did this bad stuff, he needs to be impeached and we need to do it ― even if there’s a political cost to it,” said one Democrat representative who chose to remain anonymous.
The Constitution give members of Congress broad powers to file Articles of Impeachment against the president for any reason, whether for criminal offenses or not. In fact, the first (of only two) U.S. presidents to be impeached, Andrew Johnson, was impeached in 1868, not for criminal offenses but for political and procedural ones.
As for Trump, the list of issues that Democrats must contend with, as they consider whether or not to impeach him, include offenses that, if not criminal, are at least borderline. For example, Trump is believed to have received money, as president, from foreign governments, a violation of the Constitution’s “Emoluments Clause.” Questions remain over whether or not he violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by allegedly offering Russian President Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse condominium in the proposed Trump Tower Moscow. And of course, the Mueller investigation continues to look into the overall issue of alleged Russian interference into the 2016 election.
Why Democrats Have Been Reluctant To Impeach
Democrats have been, with few exceptions, resistant to the idea of impeaching Trump for a variety of reasons. Prior to the 2018 midterm election, the Democratic Party was the minority party in both houses of Congress, and any attempt at impeachment was doomed from the start.
Democrats now control the House of Representatives, where Articles of Impeachment must originate, however. Still, party leaders have brushed off such talk. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, for example, has insisted that her party should focus on its agenda for improving the lot of everyday Americans, not on impeaching Trump. Other Democrat leaders have suggested, at the very least, waiting until the Mueller investigation has run its course.
Is There A Move Afoot To Start The Impeachment Process?
At least one sign has emerged from Washington that Congressional Democrats are looking at beginning the impeachment process in earnest. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) has hired two legal consultants – Norm Eisen, the former Obama administration ethics czar and chairman of the liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, and Barry Berke, a white-collar defense attorney.
Both consultants have, in the past, argued in favor of impeaching Trump. However, whether or not Nadler hired them specifically to help him build an impeachment case against Trump remains unclear as of this writing.