President Donald Trump repeated his claim Sunday evening on Twitter that Congress cannot legally impeach him. This isn’t the first time he made such an argument, but it’s worth mentioning when things become a pattern with POTUS.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “I think we have a very real risk of losing the Presidency to Donald Trump.” I agree, and that is the only reason they play the impeach card, which cannot be legally used!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2019
This follows on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York, 14th District) appearing on the Sunday episode of This Week. Strictly, speaking the progressive congresswoman’s quote had to do with what kind of candidate Democrats should nominate for 2020.
“I think that we have a very real risk of losing the presidency to Donald Trump if we do not have a presidential candidate that is fighting for true transformational change in the lives of working people in the United States,” she said, arguing they couldn’t have a candidate how has “half-measures” on policy. Elsewhere in that same interview, however, she said she believed progressives were frustrated at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for balking in the face of at least opening an impeachment inquiry against Trump.
Democrats command a majority in the House, but a minority in the Senate. And besides, there’s the line of thinking that impeaching the president could hurt Dems in the following election. Pelosi has said that impeachment would require the GOP to support it. So far, only one Republican congressman, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Michigan, 3rd District), has straight-up argued that Trump committed impeachable offenses.
In any case, the president is giving a preview of how he might publicly defend against impeachment allegations. He’s made this claim shortly after the release of the partially redacted Mueller report, saying he’d go the U.S. Supreme Court to argue there was no “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, a liberal who has taken pro-Trump stances on certain high-profile legal positions, has argued that the Supreme Court could indeed overturn an “unconstitutional impeachment”.
Amash has argued that Trump’s behavior is impeachable, as described in the Mueller report. He has argued that “high crimes and misdemeanors” doesn’t even have to have a statutory charge.
In fact, “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” is not defined in the Constitution and does not require corresponding statutory charges. The context implies conduct that violates the public trust—and that view is echoed by the Framers of the Constitution and early American scholars.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) May 20, 2019
[Screengrab via NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images]