Expert Watergate Reporter for the New York Times: The Danger in Not Impeaching Trump

In a recent opinion piece in the New York Times, Elizabeth Drew, a veteran reporter who covered Watergate, lays out a clear argument for why the House should begin impeachment investigations of President Donald Trump.

She states:

The founders put the impeachment clause in the Constitution to allow Congress to hold accountable, between elections, a president who’s abusing power. They specified that “high crimes and misdemeanors” are not necessarily crimes on the books but arise from the singular power of the presidency.

Ms. Drew further clarifies misconceptions about impeachment, drawing from history and the circumstances of the impeachment investigation of President Nixon:

Many people are getting their history and their definition of impeachment wrong by asserting that what forced Nixon to resign was the revelation in August 1974, very late in the process, of a recording of his trying to obstruct justice. This leads them to the erroneous conclusion that it’s essential to find a “smoking gun” to impeach a president.

When, in fact, the House Judiciary Committee had already approved three articles of impeachment against Nixon by the time the tapes were discovered. There is no need to find a “smoking gun” to begin an impeachment investigation. We have already established eleven grounds for impeachment, including obstruction of justice and using the office of the presidency to prosecute political adversaries – two of the same grounds upon which Nixon was implicated.

The supposed political risks of starting an impeachment investigation do not outweigh the numerous abuses perpetrated by Trump. To hold off on the impeachment fight would only condone the president’s ongoing constitutional violations.

As Ms. Drew asserts:

It’s hard to imagine [the founding fathers would] put political convenience on the same footing as the security of the Constitution…

The Democrats may succeed in avoiding a tumultuous, divisive fight over impeachment now. But if they choose to ignore clear abuses of the Constitution, they’ll also turn a blind eye to the precedent they’re setting and how feckless they’ll look in history.

To read the full article in the New York Times, click here.


Watch Now: Board Chair Ben Clements on WGBH to Discuss an Impeachment Investigation of the President

Free Speech For People Board Chair, Ben Clements, was on WGBH News to discuss the possibility of Congress beginning an impeachment investigation of the president, in the wake of the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which is widely viewed as an impeachment referral to Congress.

As Clements recently noted in an op-ed for the Boston Globe, written with Free Speech For People Legal Director, Ron Fein, the Mueller report is a roadmap for Congress to begin an impeachment inquiry of the president. The Mueller report highlights the president’s repeated attempts to obstruct justice and interfere with the investigation by the Special Counsel.

Congress must not shirk its constitutional duty in the face of Trump’s continued violations. As Ben explains:

“We’ve got the Mueller Report. We have 450 extremely damning, incriminating pages of evidence against Donald Trump. The Democrats do not have any more excuse to delay [impeachment investigations].”

Watch the full interview here:


Ben Clements and Ron Fein for the Boston Globe: The Mueller report is a roadmap for impeachment

In an oped for the Boston Globe, Free Speech For People Board Chair, Ben Clements, and Legal Director, Ron Fein, explore how the recently released report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is both an impeachment referral and roadmap for Congress to begin an impeachment investigation of the president. While we have identified eleven legal grounds for Congress to launch an impeachment inquiry of the president, the Mueller report highlights the president’s repeated attempts to obstruct justice and interfere with the investigation by the Special Counsel.

While finding insufficient evidence to criminally prosecute any Trump campaign officials for conspiring with the Russian government, the report concludes that the Russian government unlawfully interfered with the 2016 election in “sweeping and systemic fashion,” identifies numerous links between the Trump campaign and the Russians, and demonstrates beyond question that Trump and his campaign eagerly accepted and used to their advantage the unlawful Russian assistance. The report then describes in granular detail the numerous ways that Trump sought to obstruct the investigation over the first two years of his administration, including directing his subordinates to lie, conceal, and even fabricate evidence, and explains why each legal defense offered by Trump’s lawyers is groundless.

Given the obstruction of justice detailed in the Mueller report, Congress must take up the impeachment referral and act now to hold the president accountable to law.

Will Congress heed that call, or will it reward Trump’s obstruction by giving Barr the last word? Will patriotic duty and the growing calls from House members and their constituents compel House leaders to begin an impeachment investigation or will political caution and cowardice prevail? The rule of the law, our democracy, and the legitimacy of the presidency and Congress itself hang in the balance.

Click here to read the full oped in the Boston Globe.

Click here to join our campaign calling on Congress to begin an impeachment investigation.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, public domain 


Organizations Urge Congress to Investigate Justice Kavanaugh’s Confirmation

On April 11, 2019, Free Speech For People joined Demand Justice and a coalition of sexual assault survivors’ organizations and other progressive groups to urge House Democrats to investigate Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation.

Free Speech For People first called for an impeachment investigation of Brett Kavanaugh in October 2018, due to multiple allegations of sexual assault, perjury, and bringing the judiciary into disrepute. But the fight for justice continues.

From the letter:

Serious questions remain about whether Justice Kavanaugh lied to the Senate; whether he sexually assaulted the women who credibly accused him of doing so; whether there are cases on which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned and from which he must be recused; whether he lied about his financial debt and how it was repaid; and whether he is ultimately fit to be a justice on the Supreme Court. ​

The letter provides an outline of the multiple wrongs which occurred during Kavanaugh’s confirmation process and urges the House Committees on the Judiciary and Oversight and Reform to do what is right:

Senate Republicans made a mockery of their constitutional responsibility to provide “advice and consent” on the president’s nomination of Justice Kavanaugh, and the American people deserve to know how and why the process was such a sham.

We stand with Demand Justice and the more than two dozen groups that signed the letter urging the House to investigate Justice Kavanaugh’s sham confirmation.

To read the full letter, click here. And to read more, check out the article in Buzzfeed News.


To Access the Full Mueller Report the House Must Open an Impeachment Inquiry

The battle to access the full Mueller report is raging in Congress. Last week, the House Judiciary Committee authorized a subpoena to require Attorney General William Barr to provide Mueller’s full, 400-page, unredacted report of his investigation. However, in a recent decision, McKeever v. Barr, the court “reaffirmed the principle of grand jury secrecy and concluded that a court has no ‘inherent power’ to release grand jury information.” This decision could give Barr a plausible basis to resist the subpoena and to continue his cover up of vital information due to Congress and the American people.

In a recent op-ed, Philip Allen Lacovara, former counsel to the Watergate special prosecutor and Larry Tribe, a law professor at Harvard Law School, argues that the strongest legal recourse available to the House is to open an impeachment inquiry.

Lacovara draws a parallel with Nixon’s impeachment, explaining:

During the Watergate investigation, the special prosecutor working with a grand jury developed a report detailing the evidence tending to show that President Richard M. Nixon had committed various federal crimes, including obstruction of justice, that might constitute grounds for impeachment.

He explains that opening a formal impeachment inquiry against Nixon allowed the House Judiciary Committee to bypass the decision of “grand jury secrecy,” and allowed the Committee to access the report and underlying evidence against President Nixon.

Given this history and the challenges facing the House to fully access the Mueller report, the House Judiciary Committee should focus on its strongest argument and start an impeachment inquiry against President Trump now.

As Lacovara and Tribe explain:

Trump’s selection of his new attorney general may prove to be his best line of defense — unless Pelosi revisits her stance and directs the House Judiciary Committee to include impeachment within its investigatory ambit.

Read the op-ed in the Washington Post here and read more about the fight to access the Mueller Report in Politico here.


Ron Fein on Rising Up With Sonali: What Does the End of the Mueller Probe Mean?

Last week, Free Speech For People Legal Director, Ron Fein, sat down with Sonali Kolhatkar, on Rising Up With Sonali, to discuss the end of the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and its implications for Trump’s future.

In his summary, Attorney General William Barr quotes Mueller’s report directly: “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

Regardless of whether Trump committed any “crimes,” we still have plenty of evidence that President Trump has gravely and repeatedly violated the Constitution. The Mueller Report should be made public, but Trump’s actions have already spoken for him, and the answer is impeachment.

Watch Ron Fein’s discussion on Rising Up with Sonali below to learn more about these violations and why the end of Mueller’s report does not mean an end to impeachment.


Trump’s hush money payments to influence the election are grounds for impeachment

President Trump has been directly implicated—by his own personal lawyer—in a criminal conspiracy to illegally influence the election. This justifies an impeachment investigation.

Facts

On August 21, 2018, President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges. Two of those charges stem directly from criminal actions that he took at the direction of then-candidate Trump in connection with Trump presidential campaign. 

Continue reading…


Watch Now: John Bonifaz on Democracy Now!

Thursday, March 14, Free Speech For People Co-Founder and President, John Bonifaz, was on Democracy Now! to make the case for why Congress must immediately begin impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump.

Watch the interview below and read the transcript on Democracy Now!


The Case For Impeaching Trump, Watch Now

Has President Trump committed impeachable offenses? Watch former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, Free Speech For People Legal Director Ron Fein, and Fordham Law Professor Jed Shugerman discuss the case for impeaching Trump.

 


Rep. Rashida Tlaib Plans to Introduce a Resolution to Start Impeachment Proceedings Against President Trump

At a press conference held on Wednesday, March 6, Representative Rashida Tlaib announced that she plans to file a resolution this month to start an impeachment investigation of President Trump.

Representative Tlaib emphasized the urgency of impeachment and addressed concerns:

“I think every single colleague of mine agrees there’s impeachable offenses. That’s one thing that we all agree on. We may disagree on the pace. We may disagree that we have to wait for certain hearings, but at the same time, I think they all know the dangers of allowing President Trump to continue to violate our United States Constitution.”

John Bonifaz, Free Speech For People’s Co-Founder and President, joined the new By the People campaign for this historic announcement in Congresswoman Tlaib’s office, and he also spoke at the press conference, highlighting the overwhelming evidence that Trump has committed impeachable offenses. Bonifaz expressed Free Speech For People’s support of Representative Tlaib, stating:

“We applaud Congresswoman Tlaib for her courageous and bold leadership, and we urge all Members of Congress to join her.”

He went on to urge Congress to act now to address this constitutional crisis:

“Now is not the time for traditional congressional oversight. Now is the time for Members of Congress to face this extraordinary moment in history, to confront this constitutional crisis threatening our nation, and to start an impeachment investigation of this president.”

Read more about Representative Tlaib’s press conference and her plans to file the resolution in the Detroit News and in Newsweek.

You can also read Representative Rashida Tlaib’s op-ed, co-authored with John Bonifaz, in the Detroit Free Press here.


Order The Constitution Demands It Today!