Fairly Recently: Must- and Should-Reads, and Writings... (April 21, 2019)

Oddly elusive about the politics. Yes, Congress should begin an investigation that could lead to impeachment. But Democrats in the House will not vote for a trial of Trump without 20 Republicans in the Senate willing to listen to the evidence and convict. And those Republicans do not care whether Trump has committed offenses worthy of impeachment: he has. They care whether voting to convict Trump would boost their chances of winning their next general election—or their next primary:

Susan Hennessey and Quinta Jurecic: The Mueller Report Demands an Impeachment Inquiry: "Under the current system, the options for checking a president who abuses his power to the degree that Trump has are functionally impeachment proceedings or nothing. There are many factors here, but the main culprit is the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC)’s 2000 memo against the indictment of a sitting president—which itself builds on a 1973 OLC memo...

...Republicans don’t want to touch the matter because the president is a member of their party.... Democrats... are worried that initiating impeachment proceedings will offer the president a rallying point for his base, and allow Republicans to paint them as fanatics out to get Trump at all costs. Besides, the thinking goes, Democratic base voters want to discuss policy issues that impact their lives, not perseverate on the many president’s sins. The problem is that impeachment isn’t a purely political matter—though certainly it is political in part. It’s a constitutional expression of the separation of powers, of Congress’s ability to check a chief executive overrunning the bounds of his power. It’s also, under the OLC memo, the only release valve in the constitutional structure for the urgent and mounting pressure of an executive who may have committed serious wrongdoing.... Though hard questions remain about whether President Trump should be impeached and whether the evidence would be sufficient for the Senate to convict him, these are not questions that need to be answered at this stage. Congress’s responsibility at this point is to begin an impeachment inquiry as a means of finding an answer to them...


#noted

Comments