Senator Elizabeth Warren (Democrat, Massachusetts) is the first leading presidential candidate for the 2020 elections to call on the House of Representatives to start impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump last Friday, April 19, 2019. Her bold call was made in relation to the release of the Mueller report, a controversial investigation conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller into the Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
But Sen. Warren’s call for impeachment is hardly surprising for political analysts. She has been known to adopt hardliner attitudes toward controversial issues including the elimination of filibuster, the breakup of large tech companies, and the imposition of a wealth tax. Her vocal approach toward these issues has placed her rivals on the spot regarding their own positions, and it has placed her as a top contender in the presidential race.
Sen. Warren is obviously among the most vocal critics of the President.
Sen. Warren has wrote on Twitter, “The Mueller report lays out facts showing that a hostile foreign government attacked our 2016 election to help Donald Trump and Donald Trump welcomed that help. Once elected, Donald Trump obstructed the investigation into that attack.”
She also placed the ball squarely in Congress’ hands, a move that can also put the House into a tight spot. In her tweet, she added, “Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice. The correct process for exercising that authority is impeachment.”
Before Sen. Warren’s unequivocal call for impeachment, she was consistent in her position to read the full Mueller report before making conclusions regarding impeachment against President Trump. Her position was also consistent with that of many other fellow Democrats.
The question of impeachment proceedings against the President has divided the Democrats in Washington. Many in the party has cautioned against taking drastic actions, too, an understandable call for caution considering the controversial nature of Mueller’s investigation.
Most of the high-profile Democrats including the party’s leadership has backed away from the issue, too. Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, California) has been consistent in her stand not to move forward with impeachment.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Democrat, Maryland) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (Democrat, New York) have also rejected President Trump’s impeachment on Thursday. Hoyer considered it “not worthwhile” while Nadler asserted that it’s “too early to talk” about impeachment.
Sen. Warren, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to back off from her stand despite her party leadership’s disagreement. She added on Twitter, “To ignore a President’s repeated efforts to obstruct an investigation into his own disloyal behavior would inflict great and lasting damage on this country, and it would suggest that both the current and future Presidents would be free to abuse their power in similar ways.”
She further said that the severity of President Trump’s misconduct demands elected officials in the Democratic and Republican parties to set aside their political considerations and perform their constitutional duty. She tweeted that the House should start immediate impeachment proceedings in light of the Mueller report’s findings.
In the exact words contained in the Mueller report, the evidence secured by the investigators “about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred.”
The Justice Department has taken a stand, too – the President cannot be sued for criminal charges while he’s in office.
The Mueller report doesn’t actually call President Trump a criminal – it stops short of calling him so – but it has exposed his obstruction of justice. The report alleges a comprehensive and consistent pattern of unethical, if not criminal, behaviour for the obstruction of a law enforcement investigation.
The Mueller report further suggests that President Trump was unable to obstruct justice was his staff members refused to carry out his orders, particularly the ones that they believed were illegal in nature. The report also suggested that if his aides obeyed his orders, they could have been charged with crimes, too.
To quote from the report, “The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.”
But the report also stated that the evidence obtained isn’t sufficient to support filing of “obstruction charges against President Trump’s aids and associates beyond those already filed.” The tricky nature of these statements may well be among the reasons for the hesitation among many political leaders and presidential aspirants to call for impeachment proceedings.
But according to an aide of Sen. Warren, the impeachment proceedings and the Mueller report will not be her campaign’s central theme. Instead, she will continue with her presentations of her major policy proposals and her belief in Washington being “broken”.
The American people will have to wait and see whether President Trump will undergo impeachment proceedings. The odds seem to be in his favor at the moment.