Former JAG officers makes a great case to immediately begin impeachment proceedings

Former JAG officers makes a great case to immediately begin impeachment proceedings
Trump/Shutterstock
Trump/Shutterstock

There has been a great deal of analysis of Donald Trump's presidency that raises serious questions as to his honesty, integrity, and even patriotism. And the recent completion of the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller has provided even more evidence that Trump has acted in ways that warrant criminal charges. The broad array of experts who concur with this is staggering.


A letter just released, with several hundred former Justice Department officials signing on to it, asserts that Trump would already have been indicted with the available evidence if he weren't President. And even the senior legal analyst on Fox News said that there is ample proof that Trump colluded with Russia and obstructed justice. He further called Trump's behavior "unlawful, defenseless and condemnable."

Nevertheless, there is still no consensus for impeaching Trump among the members of Congress whose job it is to consider it. That may be due to institutional timity or political anxiety, but it is not because there isn't sufficient legal cause that is already in the public record. That includes the fact that there were hundreds of undisclosed contacts between the Trump team and Russian operatives, which they lied about when disclosed. And the Mueller report itemized at least ten instances of obstruction of justice. Additionally, Trump has personally engaged in witness tampering and intimidation.

Most recently, Trump is taking his boldest steps yet to prevent the truth from being revealed. He tweeted that he now thinks that Mueller should not be allowed to testify before Congress. And he has stated that he will indiscriminately reject every subpoena for testimony or documents from the oversight committees of jurisdiction. That bullheaded posture was rebuked effectively by Glenn Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor with thirty years experience and Army JAG officer (video below):

"Article 3 of the Articles of impeachment for Richard Nixon was that he was not complying with lawfully issued congressional subpoenas, President Trump has one upped that. He has announced that he will comply with exactly zero subpoenas issued by Congress. Now he hasn't said that 'I will look at each one and evaluate whether there might be a viable privilege that I can assert.' No. He just said flat out 'No, I aint doin' it. I'm not complying with any. So I don't really care about your constitutional oversight responsibilities.'"

And if he wasn't clear enough, Kirschner went on to describe what should happen if Trump continues to evade justice:

"Circumspection is great, but this timidity that we've been experiencing is really gonna kill any chance of holding this criminal president accountable. I think witnesses should be lined up outside of Congress' door. And they should be called to testify, one after another after another. And if they don't testify because the President has muzzled them in some way, then I think Congress should go for all three enforcement mechanisms: Their inherent contempt power, civil enforcement, and criminal contempt."

That's exactly right. And it should apply to everyone in the administration - including Trump - who seeks to obstruct the lawful process that Congress is obligated to conduct under the Constitution. The America people (49%) are already largely on board. And the evidence disclosed in testimony during the hearings would likely convince a solid majority that Trump is guilty of the high crimes and misdemeanors that warrant impeachment. So let's get this train rolling. With Trump threatening to persecute his political opponents, and his hostile moves toward Venezuela, North Korea, and Iran, there is no time waste.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close