Impeachment Chaos: House Leadership at odds over whether theyve launched process to oust Trump
WASHINGTON D.C. (Texas Insider Report) While House Democrats frequently use the phrase Constitutional Crisis" to describe President Donald Trumps presidency as it turns out they may have already created a Constitutional Crises of their own.
The House Judiciary Committees leadership not to mention the House Democrats Leadership team is currently at odds over the essential question of whether or not an impeachment investigation is underway.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has repeatedly said she opposes impeaching President Trump claiming it could end up backfiring against Democrats heading into the 2020 elections.
We will proceed when we have what we need to proceed not one day sooner" Pelosi said recently.
Yet despite Pelosis repeated warnings the Houses Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) told CNNs Erin Burnett earlier this month that in fact formal impeachment proceedings" are underway.
We are investigating all the evidence (in the House Judiciary Committee.) We will gather the evidence and will at the conclusion of this hopefully by the end of the year vote vote articles of impeachment to the House floor or we wont.
Thats a decision that well have to make Nadler said.
House Republicans on the other hand point to precedent and Congressional Rules in arguing that the House of Representatives is required to first approve such a move which has not yet happened.
Cong. Doug Collins (right R-GA) the House Judiciary Committees ranking Republican Member wrote in a recent Sunday op-ed for the Los Angeles Times:
House precedent requires that the full House approve a resolution authorizing the Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment inquiry.
Otherwise any Judiciary chairman could charge into an impeachment inquiry with only limited partisan support."
So have they or havent they? The answer is not clear.
The confusion underscores the division among Congressional Democrats over every aspect of this explosive political step which Speaker Pelosi has gingerly talked about around and and at times even urged against for months.
When Chairman Nadler filed a petition in D.C. Federal Court seeking the disclosure of secret grand jury materials from former Special Counsel Robert Muellers investigation in late July some Democrats said it marked the beginning of an actual impeachment investigation.
We are crossing the threshold" said Cong. Veronica Escobar (right D-TX) at the time.
When you think about the mode we were operating under before it was an oversight function. This is now crossing the threshold with this filing and officially enters into an examination of whether or not to recommend articles of impeachment.
I just want to make that point clear" Escobar said.
And House Judiciary Committee Member Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) the first Democrat presidential candidate to drop out of the race has said the committee was sending a telegraph to the court that one of the remedies we have is impeachment."
This is an impeachment investigation on whether we should introduce articles of impeachment to Congress" Swalwell said.
Republican Collins cites the investigations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton as well as Congressional Rules to support the argument that only a vote from the full House can permit the Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment investigation.
Such a resolution was introduced by Texas Democrat Cong. Al Green in July but the House shot it down on a 332-95 vote.
Cong. Ted Deutsch (D-FL) further confused the issue recently when he said in an August 1 2019 piece for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that an impeachment inquiry has been ongoing since March 4th. He cited committee powers not the Constitution as support for why it is permitted.
The next day however Cong. Salud Carbajal (D-CA) issued a press release stating that he calls for an impeachment inquiry implying that one did not already exist.
While Nadler and other House Democrats may now claim they are in the middle of such an investigation legal scholars say that if the House has not taken the required steps to initiate such proceedings the courts may rule against them.
Article I of the Constitution is the source of the Houses impeachment power but it does not go into detail regarding the process.