Impeaching Trump to Hold Him Accountable

Call your MoC!

Call your MoC and tell them to co-sponsor Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s Impeachment Resolution (H.Res.257).

Get the Script!

The Time to Impeach Is Now

Robert Mueller has written his report, and it is clear that the time has come for Congress to initiate an impeachment inquiry against Trump. Mueller, in his remarks on May 29, reiterated that his investigation was never going to result in criminal charges against Trump because the Department of Justice has a policy against charging sitting presidents with a crime. He stated that the Constitution “requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing”—specifically, the impeachment process.

Mueller’s public remarks added to the growing chorus of people calling for the House to launch an impeachment investigation into Trump. On May 18, Rep. Justin Amash from Michigan became the first Republican to say that Trump had “engaged in impeachable conduct” and to call for impeachment proceedings to begin. Following Mueller’s remarks on May 29, several more Democrats—including Presidential candidates Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Beto O’Rourke—came out in favor of beginning an impeachment inquiry.

We need to start an impeachment investigation not just because Trump obstructed justice in the Mueller investigation, but also because he is obstructing Congress’s efforts to conduct oversight of his administration. In over 20 separate investigations, Trump has sought to block requests for testimony, documents, and other materials that could help shed light onto his corruption and cruelty. This goes well beyond “executive privilege,” and into the realm of outright disregard for the checks and balances that define our government.

"Don't Worry, Speaker Pelosi Has a Plan!"

Speaker Nancy Pelosi insists that House Democrats are not planning on impeaching Donald Trump—even though she has also said that his obstruction and other efforts to cover up his crimes “could be an impeachable offense,” and that he is an “existential threat to our democracy.” Even after Special Counsel Mueller made his remarks on May 29 emphasizing that accountability for Trump will have to come from Congress, Speaker Pelosi put out a statement saying that “Congress will continue to investigate,” but with no additional details about opening an impeachment inquiry.

Let’s be clear: even if he likely won’t be removed from office, opening an impeachment inquiry into Trump is the right thing to do. Trump obstructed justice in the Mueller probe, which should be reason enough for the House to initiate an impeachment inquiry. (It was good enough for the House Judiciary Committee in 1974, when they approved an article of impeachment for obstruction of justice for his actions in the Watergate investigation.) If House Democrats truly believe that Trump has committed crimes and is an existential threat to democracy, then the only reasonable response is impeachment—and yet they delay.

It’s also important to note that impeachment is a Constitutionally-defined process that could further sharpen House Democrats’ investigatory authority. Trump is stonewalling every investigation they launch, which has forced House Democrats to go to the courts to force the administration to comply with their subpoenas. By launching an impeachment inquiry, House Democrats would be able to make clear to the courts that they have a “legitimate legislative purpose” for their requests, and they would be able to get access to grand jury materials from the Mueller investigation to see much of what Attorney General Barr redacted from the publicly-released version of the report.

We don’t want to sugarcoat it—there are reasons impeachment could be a political winner, and reasons it could be a political loser. Given that it’s unclear, Democrats should just do the right thing and open an impeachment inquiry into Trump.

The Mueller investigation

The Mueller investigation yielded a string of high-profile indictments and plea deals. General Michael Flynn, former National Security Advisor to Trump, reached a plea deal with the Special Counsel after admitting to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russia. Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort also pleaded guilty to several charges, including conspiracy against the United States. (Let that sink in: the person who managed Trump’s presidential campaign has now been sentenced to prison for conspiracy against the United States.) Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws at Trump’s direction. Manafort’s associate Rick Gates pleaded guilty on two counts, and Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with Russia. Special Counsel Mueller also indicted thirteen Russians on allegations of interfering in the U.S. elections.

On April 18, Attorney General Barr released a redacted version of Mueller’s findings to Congress and the public. Despite Barr’s previous statements that the investigation found “noncorrupt motives” for Trump’s interference in the probe, the report itself presented a darker picture. Mueller and his team investigated numerous “episodes” when Trump’s actions may have constituted obstruction of justice. Based on the available evidence, Mueller’s report stated that his team was unable to clear Trump of obstruction (though of course Barr had no trouble doing so after having the 400-plus page report for less than a full weekend).

On May 29, Mueller gave his only public remarks since the start of the investigation to reiterate that while charging Trump with a crime was never an option due to DOJ rules against charging a sitting president, “if we had had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” He further said that the “Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing”—leaving the door wide open for Congress to use its power to initiate an impeachment inquiry.

What can you do now?

There are a few things you can do to ramp up the pressure on your MoC to start impeachment proceedings:

  1. Call your member of Congress (MoC) and demand that they support Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s Impeachment Resolution (H.Res.257). Only a few MoCs have spoken up in favor of impeachment (you can check if your member is a cosponsor here). It’s time that more do the right thing and support Rep. Tlaib’s resolution to begin impeachment investigations. Call… and keep calling.

  2. Flood your MoC’s inbox! After you’ve called, write a quick letter to demand your MoC hold Trump accountable and support Rep. Tlaib’s resolution to begin impeachment proceedings.

  3. Write a Letter to the Editor. Your member of Congress has staff that check news clips for mentions of their boss every single day. One of the ways to get on their radar is to submit letters to the editor to your local newspaper so that your community AND representative know exactly why you support impeachment and why you demand that they do the same.

  4. Record a video, share it, and tag your MoC on social media. Part of getting your member of Congress on the record about an issue you care about is taking control of the narrative and giving them cover as one of their constituents. Take two minutes now to record a quick video demanding your member of Congress hold Trump accountable.

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