'I am ashamed of the Republican party': Conservative legal expert details 12 of Trump' threats to the rule of law
Even as the Democrats debate among themselves whether pursuing impeachment against President Donald Trump is wise, a substantial number of conservative and right-leaning legal experts are coming forward and stating clearly that it's not only appropriate but necessary.
Among those conservatives is Paul Rosenzweig, who signed a statement with the group Checks and Balances Tuesday that said Trump's behavior as documented in the Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report counts as evidence of "high crimes and misdemeanors" — the basis for impeachment and removal as laid out by the framers of the Constitution.
And on Wednesday, Rosenzweig explained on Twitter 12 actions by Trump and his administration violating the rule of law that he never thought he'd see:
Things I never thought I'd see: 1. DOJ refusing to honor a subpoena from Congress for information relating to the c… https://t.co/uTukvqvc7X— Paul Rosenzweig (@Paul Rosenzweig) 1556129607.0
3. WH refusing to allow careerist to testify as to being over-ridden and ordered to grant security clearance to Kus… https://t.co/4m3r8aRtAd— Paul Rosenzweig (@Paul Rosenzweig) 1556129607.0
5. AG clearing President of criminal misconduct in decision manifestly contrary to evidence of obstruction of justi… https://t.co/D7E3QYbxO0— Paul Rosenzweig (@Paul Rosenzweig) 1556129608.0
7. POTUS telling head of CBP to violate law, because he will pardon him. 8. POTUS threatening, contrary to law, to… https://t.co/PKwusqXQTH— Paul Rosenzweig (@Paul Rosenzweig) 1556129609.0
9. POTUS attempting to demand that media "kneel" before him to beg forgiveness for being enemy of the people. 10. P… https://t.co/qFMzyO4VrH— Paul Rosenzweig (@Paul Rosenzweig) 1556129609.0
11. COS telling SecDHS not to raise critical national security issue -- Russian election interference - with POTUS… https://t.co/NAM9PUSbGx— Paul Rosenzweig (@Paul Rosenzweig) 1556129610.0
Indeed, as I argued Tuesday night, Trump is clearly escalating his assault on both the rule of law and the separation of powers with his latest attacks on Congress. And this aggressive stance may actually increase the chances that Democrats push for impeachment, rather than decrease them. (Though if Trump and his allies think that impeachment helps them in 2020, it's possible this is the point.)
And as Politico noted in a piece on Wednesday, Trump's attempts to retaliate against witnesses and investigators in the wake of the Mueller report could actually create more legal risk. And this, again, will strengthen the calls for Democrats to move for impeachment, rather than ameliorating them.
“This is risky,” said William Jeffress, who used to represent Richard Nixon, told Politico. “I find it surprising because he’s taking these shots at witnesses who gave information to Mueller, and I think he’s got to be careful because there’s an explicit federal statute punishing retaliation against witnesses.”
"All of this coming to light in just the last three weeks and not a single Republican caring enough about this say the obvious -- Trump is incompetent and needs to be impeached," said Rosenzweig. "I am ashamed of the Republican party and its representatives. Never have so many been so craven for so little."