There’s a technical formality in American legalese that’s sometimes known as “following the law.” The current debate that surrounds the impeachment proceedings of President Donald J. Trump has become a blurred line between Republicans and Democrats about what that actually means.
According to CNN, there are 122 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives who have made it public, that they don’t believe Trump has been following the law. In other words, they’d like to move forward with an “inquiry” into whether Trump is technically impeachable or not.
According to the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, Republican Doug Collins, there is a legal standard by which the House must abide. A fully backed resolution must precede an official inquiry into the impeachment of a U.S. President.
In an op-ed for the L.A. Times, Collins made an obscure reference to that precedent established in the 19th century.
“Otherwise, any Judiciary chairman could charge into an impeachment inquiry with only limited, partisan support,” Collins wrote.
Democrats’ Impeachment Resolution And Control Of The House Judiciary Committee
House Resolution 257, makes an inquiry into “whether the House of Representatives should impeach Donald John Trump.”
The resolution was introduced on March 27, 2019, by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Congressman Al Green (D-TX). Currently, the resolution has 17 cosponsors (including Green).
Conspicuously absent from the resolution’s signatories were House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Vice-Chair Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA).
“Nadler has said that he believes the President has committed impeachable offenses, but it’s a separate question whether that means the House should impeach him.”
If you go through the list of public comments from the 122 House Democrats about how to proceed with impeachment, some of their statements seem to cancel each other out.
The newest Democratic members of the House, however, are much clearer in their intentions to support an inquiry into impeachment proceedings.
Democrats’ Clear Intentions To Impeach Trump
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is one of the few cosponsors for H.Res.257.
Back in April, she said that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election pointed to Congress’ duty to investigate obstruction of justice charges against President Trump.
Additionally, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) went further and said that it wasn’t a matter of if, but how and when, impeachment proceedings would take place. She also signed onto the impeachment resolution introduced by Tlaib.
Why The Descepancies Among Democrats?
Officially, the House Judiciary Committee has not signed onto the impeachment resolution. Instead, they’ve been dishing out subpoenas to Trump’s tribe.
On Wednesday, Chief Judge Beryl Howell, a federal judge for the U.S. District Court of Washington, D.C., rejected the Judiciary Committee’s subpoena of former White House counsel Don McGahn to be related to the release of grand jury materials associated with Mueller’s report.
Those two cases will now be heard by separate judges.
On Thursday, it was reported that the House Judiciary Committee had also subpoenaed Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and a former White House aide, Rick Dearborn, to testify in the wake of Mueller’s report publicly.
Although Mueller’s report was inconclusive about any associated claims of Trump’s alleged obstruction of justice, the Judiciary Committee is actively seeking to move forward with an impeachment inquiry that’s slightly divisive from the impeachment resolution.
Perhaps, this is a way of building broader Democratic support as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and other Democrats seek to balance swing districts where voters might feel more alienated.
There are more pressing issues to consider, like taxes, education, and healthcare. The political clout of the Democrats could be further eroded by not offering their base anything worthwhile to vote for. Other than the impeachment of Donald J. Trump.
Trump Impeachment Betting Odds
In the 2018 elections, although the Democrats won back a majority in the House, the Republicans were able to retain their control of the Senate. The House is directly responsible for an impeachment inquiry, while the Senate gets to convict or acquit the President of impeachment.
Below you can find the betting odds of Trump being impeached before the end of his first term, as of June 27, 2019:
Will Donald Trump Be Impeached Before The End Of His 1st Term?
It doesn’t seem like the Democrats are willing to give up on their hot-button issue of wanting to impeach Trump. The only thing standing in their way is themselves.
And the U.S. legal system.
(The U.S. House will be back in session during the second week of September.)
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