Opinion: What Will It Take for Democrats to Unite Behind Impeaching Trump? - PressFrom - US
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OpinionWhat Will It Take for Democrats to Unite Behind Impeaching Trump?

18:05  11 july  2019
18:05  11 july  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

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What will it take to impeach Trump ? Who can impeach president Trump ? Would America be better off if Trump were impeached ? Sorry but this isn’t a thing of popularity where if enough citizens unite , he’ll be impeached . There are certain grounds for impeachment and he has to violate those and get

The release of the Mueller report has led to calls from some Democrats to impeach Donald Trump . But how does the process actually work? George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley explains what it takes - and why it 's politically risky.

What Will It Take for Democrats to Unite Behind Impeaching Trump?© David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images Lawyers (including Hillary Clinton) in the Judiciary Committee hearing room bringing impeachment charges against President Richard Nixon in 1974 in Washington.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Many Democrats are arguing harshly that the House is wasting an opportunity to open an impeachment inquiry against President Trump. Their point of support: Watergate-era House Democrats. In their telling, House Democrats were always united in support of impeaching President Richard Nixon.

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The House Democrats are ceding legitimacy to Trump ’s claims of exoneration by giving him a pass on impeachment . The rest is history. McConnell’s decision to block Garland consolidated Republican support behind Trump and helped him pull off a narrow victory.

House Democrats are launching a very broad inquiry into Trump 's abuses. It could be a preliminary step toward impeachment hearings. But you can view this step as functionally the first stage in the impeachment process. And it could take on a life of its own that makes it harder for Democrats to

But that isn’t true. I was there, and in fact initially they were as divided in their approach to addressing President Nixon’s conduct as House Democrats are today about starting an impeachment inquiry.

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Liberal Democrat House members in 1973-74 pressed for an impeachment inquiry of President Nixon, but they met resistance from Democrat leadership. In April 1974, a New York Times article identified “perhaps seven impeachment zealots” on the House Judiciary Committee — all Democrats — who would “like very much to indict the president for high crimes and misdemeanors.” But, as the report added, the “surprising thing” about that committee was that it did not “contain more pro-impeachment zealots” — 18 of the 21 committee Democrats had liberal voting records.

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WHY IMPEACHMENT ? The founders of the United States created the office of the presidency and feared Trump has said on Twitter that he would ask the Supreme Court to intervene if Democrats tried to impeach him. As a result, the Democrats could impeach Trump with no Republican support.

If Democrats do ultimately move to impeach Trump , the process would be all-consuming and take a long time. The Starr report was released on It would be very hard for Democrats to find oxygen for any other political platform during that time. Mueller could change everything you've just read.

There were actually two impeachment resolutions before the committee’s investigation that ultimately led to President Nixon’s resignation. First, Representative John Conyers of Michigan, one of the seven “zealots,” had co-sponsored a quixotic resolution to impeach President Nixon even before the Watergate break-in of June 1972. Mr. Conyers’s resolution was referred to the Judiciary Committee and died there.

After the Watergate cover-up began unraveling in mid-1973, a cadre of Democrats on the Judiciary Committee started pressing for President Nixon’s impeachment. Representative Robert Drinan of Massachusetts, another Judiciary Committee member, filed an impeachment resolution on July 31, 1973, as televised hearings before a Senate committee exposed the Watergate cover-up.

It focused on President Nixon’s decision to launch a secret bombing campaign in Cambodia during the Vietnam War.

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Probably, a Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives. Trump already has enough high Trump is an old man who does not take stress or criticism well. His physician may have said he’s the You see, the top Democrats do not talk about impeaching Trump now because they do not

(3) Trump will just buy his way out of any impeachment . He’s quite good at getting out of jams and most politicians are on the take , thanks to the SCOTUS The grounds for impeaching Trump would be obstruction of justice. But there are not enough Republican senators who would vote to convict

Tip O’Neill, a House Democratic leader who became speaker, made sure that the chamber would not act on Mr. Drinan’s resolution at that time. “Morally, Drinan had a good case,” Mr. O’Neill wrote in his memoir, “Man of the House.” “But politically, he damn near blew it. For if Drinan’s resolution had come up for a vote at the time he filed it, it would have been overwhelmingly defeated — by something like 400 to 20.”

Mr. O’Neill’s leadership team feared that the Republicans would call Mr. Drinan’s resolution for a vote to resoundingly defeat it and, thereby, discredit any impeachment effort. They never did.

As Speaker Nancy Pelosi does today, Mr. O’Neill rebuffed the early impeachment demands of his members. In his memoir, Mr. O’Neill quotes Representative Thaddeus Dulski of New York in the summer of 1973: “I’m a loyal Democrat, but I couldn’t vote to impeach any president … It would be a sacrilege.”

But circumstances changed with the late-October “Saturday Night Massacre”: When President Nixon fired the special prosecutor Archibald Cox, the action all but forced House leadership to give a green light to an impeachment inquiry.

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Democrats are again being tempted to move toward impeaching Donald Trump . It ’s still the wrong call to That’s a path that has no advantages for Democrats before, during or after impeachment . Trump would surely take that as an indicator that he could continue with every one of his assaults on

Senior Democratic leaders have said that if Democrats take the House of Representatives, they will not But few Democrats want to actively talk about impeaching President Donald Trump . Al Green of Texas, a Democrat , to impeach Trump . The most recent instance occurred in January, when only

Within days, Representative Jerome Waldie of California, another Judiciary Committee member, filed articles of impeachment.

Yet even then, the congressional vote to formally authorize the Judiciary Committee to investigate was delayed until February. House Democrats were keenly aware that President Nixon had won re-election in a 49-state landslide in 1972. So for several months after the resolutions were signed, moderate and conservative Democrats were still noncommittal, if not downright reluctant, to put impeachment to a vote.

That reluctance was also displayed in May after President Nixon defied the Judiciary Committee’s subpoena for White House tapes. The committee voted 32-5 to reject a motion by Representative Jack Brooks of Texas for the House to hold the president in contempt.

By early summer, reluctance had faded. Representative James Mann of South Carolina represented a congressional district where President Nixon had recently won 80 percent. When Mr. Mann became convinced that the president warranted impeachment, he became an important link to conservative Democrats and even some Republicans.

Representative Donald Edwards of California said Mr. Mann had a relationship with those members that Mr. Drinan and Mr. Conyers never could. “He can go to them and say: ‘I have the same problem as you in my district. I can support this. So can you’,” Mr. Edwards said at the time.

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Several congressional Democrats have called for impeachment proceedings of some kind. Representative Mark Pocan of Wisconsin said on the House floor in February that if Trump did not divest business holdings What would it take in practice to trigger enough Republicans into action?

The anti- Trump campaign is the latest example of Steyer’s efforts to influence Colorado politics. Asked whether he planned to financially support candidates who took his side in Democratic Among Democrats , 18 percent would vote against a pro- impeachment candidate and 70 percent would vote

Today these tensions and ambiguities sound familiar. So far, over 80 House members — including one Republican, now turned independent — have publicly supported an impeachment inquiry.

But as Mr. O’Neill initially did, Ms. Pelosi is treating impeachment as a “third rail,” too dangerous to touch. She has been adamant in rejecting an impeachment inquiry both publicly and in her caucus.

If the detailed evidence in the Mueller report about obstruction of justice did not sway Ms. Pelosi, what will? Without new blockbuster events like a Saturday Night Massacre or the revelation of President Nixon’s incriminating White House tapes, Ms. Pelosi is unlikely to budge with 2020 Election Day approaching.

But Democrats favoring an impeachment inquiry can hold to the fact that House Democrats in 1974 ultimately united. Every Democrat on the Judiciary Committee voted for two articles of impeachment citing obstruction of justice and abuse of power. Six Republicans supported the first charge, and seven found abuse of power.

Nineteen of 21 Democrats approved Article III, along with two Republicans, based upon President Nixon’s defiance of the committee’s subpoenas. Representative Mann was one of two Democrats opposing it.

Party unity coalesced only after House leadership authorized Peter Rodino of New Jersey, the Judiciary Committee chairman, to conduct a thorough, deliberate, six-month impeachment investigation.

Still, Democratic unity today remains unlikely — by all appearances, Ms. Pelosi has no intention of letting that process begin. It will take unforeseen events, or a pro-impeachment surge in public opinion, to change the current dynamic.

Michael Conway served as counsel for the House Judiciary Committee during its impeachment inquiry of President Richard Nixon.

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