[Discussion] The Mueller Report's Case For Impeaching Trump

With the Mueller Report now available, and I believe it makes the case for bringing articles of impeachment against Donald J. Trump now, and for Congress to decide his fate. This thread is intended to discuss whether the Mueller Report is a road map to impeachment.

The only reasons for impeachment to be discussed in this thread are cases of obstruction that Mueller believes meets the threshold of being a chargeable crime. Nothing going on in the SDNY or other investigations is relevant to this topic. This is only relevant to the Mueller Report's findings.

OG_slinger wrote:

Starting impeachment proceedings against Trump should be the Democratically-controlled House version of the what the Republicans did with voting to repeal Obamacare. There should be dozens of impeachment attempts, each with Republicans having to go on record saying they believe Trump did nothing wrong while new information about Trump's guilt and incompetence comes to light from the related Congressional, federal, and state investigations.

Why haven't they?

LeapingGnome wrote:

Why haven't they?

You'd have to ask the Democratic leadership.

My guess would be that it's because impeaching a president is a slightly more serious matter that probably shouldn't be turned into political grandstanding like the Republicans did with their numerous House votes to repeal Obamacare.

That and things move a lot slower than we'd like.

Take the timeline for Nixon's impeachment. The Senate Watergate Committee was formed in February 1973, didn't hold hearings until May 1973, and didn't issue it's report until June 1973. Then there were months of House politicking (and Nixon doing dumb things like the Saturday Night Massacre in October) before impeachment charges were formally filed in February 1974. The subsequent impeachment inquiries lasted for months and the official impeachment hearings ran from May to the end of July of 1974. Then it all ended a week later when Nixon resigned on the eve of the House impeachment vote. All together it took a year and a half for the House to investigate Nixon and gather the political support needed to impeach him.

I don't know where we stand with Trump in relation to Nixon's impeachment process, but it's clear the House needs to do more work.

LeapingGnome wrote:

Why haven't they?

Polls have shown only about a third of Americans support impeachment efforts. Impeaching Trump would probably take about as much time as just voting him out of office, and all the time spent on impeachment proceedings could instead be spent on health care, immigration, climate change, deficit reduction, and all the things people care about more and that would give Democrats something to point to during the 2020 election.

LeapingGnome wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

Starting impeachment proceedings against Trump should be the Democratically-controlled House version of the what the Republicans did with voting to repeal Obamacare. There should be dozens of impeachment attempts, each with Republicans having to go on record saying they believe Trump did nothing wrong while new information about Trump's guilt and incompetence comes to light from the related Congressional, federal, and state investigations.

Why haven't they?

Impeachment requires a relatively lengthy process to ultimately get to where the Senate votes on a guilty/not guilty status. The eleventity billion ACA repeals were only single voting events.

I imagine also it is not clear to me if articles of impeachment could be reintroduced for a set of actions again, i.e. would some kind of double jeopardy attach.

Guys, this is really not a "should they or shouldn't they" thread. It's not even about the other things that will likely factoring a Trump impeachment, such as the Inaugural scandal. the shut down Trump Foundation, and the SDNY cases in which Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator. That is what the Trump, Russia, and the 2016 Election thread is for. The Mueller Report is just one portion of the case to impeach Trump, but it is a long and complicated document that worth it's own thread.

This thread is supposed to help understand the Mueller Report. It's a place to ask questions and clarify things. It's a place discuss what parts of it mean and what they don't mean. Barr successfully spun the Report so that a too many Americans think it either cleared Trump, or failed to show any of his wrong doing. That's clearly not the case for people who have read the report.

I do think this is a good place for the story on the prosecutors, as it lends credence to idea that Barr's conclusion about the report is not shared by processionals that charge criminals for a living.

WaPo: Trump would have been charged with obstruction were he not president, hundreds of former federal prosecutors assert

More than 450 former federal prosecutors who worked in Republican and Democratic administrations have signed on to a statement asserting special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings would have produced obstruction charges against President Trump — if not for the office he holds.

The statement — signed by myriad former career government employees as well as high-profile political appointees — offers a rebuttal to Attorney General William P. Barr’s determination that the evidence Mueller uncovered was “not sufficient” to establish that Trump committed a crime.

Many legal analysts have wondered since Mueller’s report was released whether the special counsel believed he had sufficient evidence to charge Trump and was just unwilling to say it out loud.

By the report’s account, Trump — after learning he was being investigated for obstruction — told his White House counsel to have Mueller removed. And when that did not work, according to Mueller’s report, Trump tried to have a message passed to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to limit the scope of Mueller’s authority. Of that episode, Mueller’s team wrote there was “substantial evidence” to indicate Trump was trying to “prevent further investigative scrutiny” of himself and his campaign.

“All of this conduct — trying to control and impede the investigation against the President by leveraging his authority over others — is similar to conduct we have seen charged against other public officials and people in powerful positions,” the former federal prosecutors wrote in their letter.

hope you don't mind a tag post, curious where this goes with today's news of executive privilege

Mostly, I think the report stands on its own. I would like to see more, but, there is plenty in the report to make the case for impeachment.

One thing that I think its lost in the discussion, and this goes to how many view impeachment, is that both volumes are essential to understanding why Trump needs to be impeached. We get caught up in Vol. 2, because that is where the charges are. But the people we need to move, not Trump supporters, but those moderate voters that swing elections, are being sold that it's "just" obstruction" and there is no underlying crime.

But there was an underlying crime. How anyone can read Vol. 1 and not be scared of the future of our country is beyond me. Kushner didn't get called out nearly hard enough for his "few facebook ads" comment. It goes so far beyond that. Things like fake political groups posing as blacks that hated Hillary, pushing for no votes, or voting for Jill Scott, setting up rallies on both sides of an issue just to get sh*t started, as well as pushing fake news stories from thousands of troll accounts.

Trump obstructed the investigation into Russian meddling. The Mueller report explains that it really doesn't matter why, but it does not that Trump seemed to be afraid that the investigation would reveal other crimes he had committed, even if he never entered into a criminal conspiracy with Putin.

All Trump is doing now is trying to keep the story from being told in open hearings. The report has the information he is trying to revoke. It's why, in the end, none of what he is doing will work. It's hard to call evidence in the public purview can be considered privileged. The cat is out of the bag.

NY Times: White House Asked McGahn to Declare Trump Never Obstructed Justice

WASHINGTON — White House officials asked at least twice in the past month for the key witness against President Trump in the Mueller report, Donald F. McGahn II, to say publicly that he never believed the president obstructed justice, according to two people briefed on the requests.

Mr. McGahn, who was the president’s first White House counsel, declined, one of the people said. His reluctance angered Mr. Trump, who believed that Mr. McGahn showed disloyalty by telling investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, about Mr. Trump’s attempts to maintain control over the Russia investigation.

The White House made one of the requests to Mr. McGahn’s lawyer, William A. Burck, before the Mueller report was released publicly but after the Justice Department gave a copy to Mr. Trump’s lawyers to read. Reading the report, the president’s lawyers saw that Mr. Mueller had left out that Mr. McGahn had told investigators that he believed Mr. Trump never obstructed justice.

Mr. McGahn initially entertained the White House request. But after the report was released, detailing the range of actions Mr. Trump took to try to impede the inquiry, Mr. McGahn declined to put out a statement. The report also included comments Mr. Trump made to aides about how he believed Mr. McGahn leaked to the news media to make himself look good.

White House officials asked Mr. McGahn again to put out a statement saying he believed the president had not obstructed justice, but he rebuffed the second request, as well.

Around that time, the president’s lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, began publicly attacking Mr. McGahn and questioning his credibility, saying that he had a bad memory. “It can’t be taken at face value,” Mr. Giuliani said of Mr. McGahn’s account a day after the report was released. “It could be the product of an inaccurate recollection or could be the product of something else.”

I know it's far from the first time, but this obsession with "loyalty" is really disturbing.