Greg Sargent at The Post talked to Rep. Schiff about how the Democrats might proceed with impeachment since the Trump administration has declared itself above the law:
There has been some suggestion that Democrats would give up on the courts, and merely take all of this stonewalling and make it the subject of an article of impeachment for obstructing Congress.
But Schiff told me that Democrats have the option of doing both simultaneously, though he cautioned that no decisions had been made.
“I do not foreclose at all other efforts in parallel to make sure we fully find out all the facts, including court,” Schiff said. He noted that if the administration fought these efforts, “that will not delay us from going forward with articles of impeachment if they are warranted by the president’s obstruction.”
“We need to protect the country,” Schiff said. “We need to expose whatever wrongdoing has gone on. That work is going to have to proceed.”
Schiff noted, crucially, that Democrats could continue to fight for information in court even after the House voted to impeach — which could potentially lay the groundwork for additional articles later.
“If it is necessary to go down the road of other articles of impeachment, then presumably there will be a trial in the Senate,” Schiff said. “I don’t think there’s a court in the land that will preclude the Congress from getting the evidence it needs at trial.”
Neal Katyal (former acting solicitor general in the Obama admin) reminds us that the first article of impeachment prepared for Nixon addressed that administration’s stonewalling:
in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, [he] has … withh[eld] relevant& material evidence or information from lawfully authorized investigative officers … of the US…
I’m not sure what timing considerations the House Dems are wrestling with as they map out an impeachment strategy, nor how long it takes for courts to process subpoena demands, etc. I also have no idea what other information is working its way through the system via whistleblowers or how many additional brave souls might step up in defiance of the Trump admin’s attempts to sweep this mess under the rug.
What I do know is that it took an absurd spectacle to bring Trump to power, and it will take another gaudy extravaganza to oust the motherfucker. Impeaching Trump for not giving up documents doesn’t seem like it would lend itself to a media bonanza, but maybe with the right stage management and compelling witnesses…
Anyhoo, to paraphrase Conan the Barbarian, the best punishment for the scandal-ridden Trump presidency would be to crush Republicans, see them driven before Democrats, and to hear the lamentations of Liz Cheney and Nikki Haley.
But while total victory will likely remain elusive, there are less consequential, ongoing humiliations we can savor right now, such as that of Mike “Swagger” Pompeo and formerly respected establishment figure Bill Barr, who are being stripped of their unearned reputations and exposed as partisan goons. The same goes for Congressional Republicans who’re hiding out or making ridiculous excuses for Trump’s lawlessness.
The same also goes for the “respectable” conservative media personalities who are defending a rapidly unspooling demagogue and his gang of enablers. Polling on impeachment suggests that people are starting to pay attention and detect a distinct whiff of rat. The longer all of these hacks wilt in the glare of the spotlight, the more corrupt and foolish they look, and that’s a good thing. For these reasons, I hope House Democrats aren’t in a huge rush.
Meanwhile, Lindsey Graham, his undergarments all a-twist because of House impeachment activities, retaliated this morning by inviting Rudy “Colludey” Giuliani to visit the Senate and share his views about how Clinton and Soros framed the Russians in 2016 to get Trump. Am I the only one who thinks Rudy taking his Crackpot Dome road show to the Senate might not evolve to Trump’s benefit?