No Doubt About It: Democrats Are Headed Towards Impeachment
With a request on Monday sent out to 81 Trump associates from whom the House Judiciary Committee is seeking documents, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the chairman of that committee, made it clear that he will spend the foreseeable future investigating the President of the United States. In a statement, Nadler called the document demands “the first steps of an investigation into the alleged corruption, obstruction, and other abuses of power by President Trump, his associates and members of his administration.”
But in an interview with ABC News this weekend, Nadler made it clear that he is personally closer to the end of such an investigation than the beginning. In remarks that were echoed by his buddy Adam Schiff over on the House Intelligence Committee, Nadler said that there was little doubt that President Trump was guilty of high crimes and/or misdemeanors.
“It’s very clear that the president obstructed justice,” Nadler said Sunday. “It’s very clear. 1,100 times he referred to the Mueller investigation as a witch hunt, he tried to protect Flynn from being investigated by the FBI, he fired Comey in order to stop the Russia thing, as he told NBC News. He’s intimidated witnesses. In public.”
Of course if it is “very clear” that Trump did all of these things – if there is “abundant evidence” that Trump colluded with Russia, as Schiff said – then there is only one question left on the table: Why aren’t the Democrats moving towards impeachment. That’s what ABC News asked Nadler, and his answer was instructive.
“We don’t have the facts yet,” Nadler said. “Impeachment is a long way down the road. We have to do the investigations and get all this. We do not now have the evidence all sorted out and everything to do an impeachment. Before you impeach somebody, you have to persuade the American public that it ought to happen. You have to persuade enough of the opposition party voters, Trump voters, that you’re not just trying to reverse the results of the last election.”
You can disregard the first comment. “We don’t have the facts yet.” Yeah, that’s not even remotely relevant to where the Democrats go from here. What Nadler probably means is that “we don’t have the Mueller report yet.” Because there is little doubt that when the Special Counsel officially concludes his investigation and puts his report in Congress’ hot little hands, impeachment proceedings will be a mere formality.
We don’t particularly worry that Trump will be convicted in the Senate (although the mutiny on the president’s border wall declaration does give us pause), but it is a near-certainty that he will be impeached in the House. Democrats have shown their hand, and their hand is impeachment. They believe that this is what their voters demand.
It’s going to be a wild summer.