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Mon Apr 22, 2019, 10:34 AM

Norm Ornstein: Impeachment Is Not the Answer. At Least Not Yet.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/04/after-mueller-democrats-should-probenot-impeach/587638/


Impeachment Is Not the Answer. At Least Not Yet.
In the wake of the Mueller report, Democrats should probe—not launch a formal inquiry.
6:00 AM ET
Norm Ornstein


What next? The substance of the Mueller report is only now beginning to penetrate through the fog of lies and distortions coming from Attorney General William Barr, backed by his loyal lieutenant, Rod Rosenstein. Even the redacted version makes visible the despicable behavior that emanated from the Trump campaign and the Trump White House, not to mention Donald Trump himself, and the shocking penetration of Russia into our elections—with no visible response then or now from Republicans in power. But most Americans will not read or even get the gist of the Mueller report, or know much of what is in it, as they lead their own lives largely unfocused on politics and government.

So what should Democrats do? There is ample evidence of behavior on the part of the president that fits any reasonable definition of high crimes and misdemeanors—and most likely there will be a lot more when the Southern District of New York (SDNY) and other jurisdictions of the Justice Department finish their work—at least if Barr does not stymie them. The House has a constitutional responsibility to follow up.

But a formal impeachment inquiry in the House Judiciary Committee would be politically perilous—and while politics cannot override duty, Democrats cannot risk the kind of 2020 backlash that would come if a large share of the voting public came to see the House as Javert-like, abandoning its focus on health care, jobs, and the other issues that dominate most Americans’ lives in a monomaniacal quest to get Trump. A quick move to impeachment would be used by Trump and his acolytes, from the Senate to Fox and talk radio, to incite and outrage the GOP base.

snip//

What we need is for the Judiciary, Intelligence, and Homeland Security Committees to conduct a series of deep dives into the areas of communication and coordination between Trump and his campaign with Russians and their surrogates, such as WikiLeaks; the multiple categories and areas of obstruction of justice that Robert Mueller outlined; the threats to our intelligence operations and our justice system from Trump and his operatives; and the moves by Russia to interfere in and influence our elections used by Trump and unchecked by Republicans. Other committees, such as Ways and Means and Banking, need to be ready to do the same thing as more information emerges from the SDNY and the New York attorney general, among others, about Trump’s financial dealings, including with the Russians, and about Russian money laundering. The witnesses need to include Mueller and Rosenstein, of course, but also the range of figures mentioned in the report, and also a range of experts in areas such as ethics, constitutional violations, intelligence operations, and election administration and security.

Democrats need to stage and coordinate hearings across committees and subcommittees, to make sure they do not overload Americans’ ability to pay attention. Most important, they need to structure the public hearings in a dramatically different way than usual. Each committee needs to use experienced counsel—a good example might be former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara—and limit, if not abandon, opening statements, except from the chairs. No five-minute rounds of questions going down the line of every committee member, leading to utterly disjointed discourse, making it easy for hostile witnesses to evade, filibuster, or otherwise avoid follow-ups and get through a five minute period, which is then followed by a five-minute breather with an ally on the Republican side, and then another five minutes from the next member of the panel that may have nothing to do with the previous round of questions.

snip//

Democrats should not jump the gun on impeachment. But it would be a serious dereliction of duty if they did not move now to set the stage for what should happen when the time and setting are right.

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Norm Ornstein: Impeachment Is Not the Answer. At Least Not Yet. (Original post)
babylonsister Apr 2019 OP
marble falls Apr 2019 #1
manor321 Apr 2019 #2
babylonsister Apr 2019 #4
Buffalo Soldier Apr 2019 #3
babylonsister Apr 2019 #5
Buffalo Soldier Apr 2019 #7
Botany Apr 2019 #6
mcar Apr 2019 #8
progressoid Apr 2019 #9

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 22, 2019, 10:37 AM

1. Impeachment is the result of a process. We're deep into the process right now and it is moving along

great article, thanks!

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 22, 2019, 10:45 AM

2. Ornstein is on the impeachment train. No one is asking for an impeachment vote now.

 

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Response to manor321 (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 22, 2019, 10:47 AM

4. Tell Maxine Waters that. nt

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 22, 2019, 10:46 AM

3. ??

 

So we should not use impeachment because their evidence against impeachment is stronger than ours?

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Response to Buffalo Soldier (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 22, 2019, 10:48 AM

5. That's not at all what he wrote. We need to get our

ducks in a row and then impeach.

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 22, 2019, 11:13 AM

7. But...

 

The closer it gets to the elections...the more likely he will say...we are only doing it because of the elections.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 22, 2019, 11:00 AM

6. i kind of know Norm ... friend of the family

And he is saying that we have to make sure we have things right before
we start impeachment. In a note to his good friend, my late father 4 months
ago he called the Trump White House and Mitch McConnell part of an organized
crime network.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 22, 2019, 11:34 AM

8. K&R

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Mon Apr 22, 2019, 05:14 PM

9. "...make sure they do not overload Americans' ability to pay attention..."



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