Top Dems in the House of Representatives are reluctant to impeach President Donald Trump for alleged wrongdoing, but this might blow up in their faces if he reaches a second term.
Law Professor, CNN analyst, and impeachment expert Ross Garber explained it on Saturday.
“If the House doesn’t impeach Trump and he is re-elected, he will have a potentially powerful argument that he can’t then be impeached and removed for anything in the Mueller Report (or any other issues that were widely known before the election),” he wrote. “Principle of condonation.”
“Condonation” is a legal concept refers to a specific kind of implied forgiveness. As an example, perhaps a wife didn’t complain about her husband cheating on her even though she knew about his behavior. Later, however, she tried to use it as grounds for a divorce. Her spouse, however, has the option to argue that she actually condoned his actions because she didn’t do anything about it at first.
Congress is aware of alleged wrongdoing by the president, as described in the Mueller report. The question is what they’re going to do about it. Dems control the House, which can launch an impeachment query, but party leaders, keep pumping the breaks, largely out of fear this might backfire politically since Republicans control the Senate. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-New York, 13th District), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, argued that trump “deserves” impeachment, but told CNN on Sunday that they need more evidence before committing an impeachment inquiry.
“He has done many impeachable offenses,” he said. “He’s violated the laws six ways from Sunday.”
The House Judiciary Committee asked a D.C. federal court to unseal grand jury information from the Mueller report, so they can determine if they should recommend articles of impeachment. Guess who thought this process was soft.
“Chairman Nadler said recently the Judiciary Committee was evaluating articles of impeachment. This filing verifies that impeachment is under consideration,” Garber told Law&Crime in a Friday article. “It is a startlingly weak and ineffectual impeachment process. But it’s the process the House leadership has chosen.”
Elsewhere, Garber pegged the committee’s argument as “not a winner.”
“While there is some precedent for releasing grand jury info in connection with a formally constituted impeachment proceeding, the reasoning for doing so is thin and weak (impeachment as preliminary to judicial proceeding),” he wrote on Twitter.
Garber suggested that the new move is either about getting an “insurance policy,” or pacifying Dems who want to move forward.
“Probably both,” he wrote.
Ummm. You got a detailed report. And detailed testimony. What additional info are you looking for? I have two theories about what’s going on:
1. Nadler is just pretending so the more action-oriented Ds chill.
2. This is an insurance policy.
Probably both. https://t.co/ADI5f0UZoU
— Ross Garber (@rossgarber) July 26, 2019
Matt Naham contributed to this report.
[Image via ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images]