Donald Trump has become the third American president to be impeached after the House passed two articles of impeachment earlier this month, but a Washington Post columnist thinks there could still be more to come.
In his Plum Line blog, political writer Paul Waldman wrote that Democrats may need to hold on passing the articles to the U.S. Senate for Trump’s trial and continue investigating whether he committed more impeachable offenses based on grand jury materials from Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. The final Russia report cleared the Trump campaign of acting in conspiracy with the Russian government, but reportedly did outline a series of instances of obstruction of justice and left it to Congress to decide whether Trump should face charges for it.
Waldman wrote that even though Trump will likely be acquitted by the Senate — especially as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly said he plans to have Republicans work in lockstep with the White House — it may be “absolutely necessary” to investigate whether more impeachment articles are warranted.
“To clarify, I’m not talking about Trump being impeached again for the misdeeds for which he is currently being called to account. I’m talking about an impeachment for new misdeeds that we have yet to discover, or that he has not yet committed but will in the future,” he wrote. “When you consider that future, you realize that another impeachment is a real possibility.”
Waldman added that even if Trump does not face new articles of impeachment, an investigation could help shed light on “how deep our governing crisis” would become if Trump were to win a second term.
Waldman is not the first to float the idea that Democrats continue to investigate Trump while holding the articles of impeachment. House Leader Nancy Pelosi said she wants to ensure a fair trial that would include witnesses with firsthand knowledge of Trump’s alleged efforts to pressure Ukraine into announcing an investigation into political rival Joe Biden. The White House denied Congress’s requests for testimony and documents related to the purported withholding of military aid as Trump pressed for a Biden investigation.
As NBC News noted, House lawyers have also hinted that there could be more articles of impeachment. The House Judiciary Committee had been requesting White House counsel Don McGahn testify, and a judge asked if it would still be necessary now that Trump has been impeached. Lawyers said that if McGahn’s testimony produces new evidence of impeachable offenses, “the committee will proceed accordingly — including, if necessary, by considering whether to recommend new articles of impeachment.”