When the redacted Mueller report was released this week and exposed Donald Trump as a criminal, influential but lower-ranking House Democrats like Maxine Waters and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez promptly called for him to be impeached, even as the uppermost levels of House Democratic leadership publicly showed no initial interest in impeachment. Palmer Report explained that this was likely a coordinated bottom-up effort by House Democrats to help build popular momentum for impeachment before the leaders officially put it on the table. Sure, enough, we’re now seeing that progression play out.
The leaders of the three most prominent House committees have all gone on the record this week as being open to impeachment. House Intel Committee Chair Adam Schiff appeared on ABC News this morning and stated that Donald Trump’s obstruction of justice antics were “far worse than anything Richard Nixon did” – a clear allusion to the fact that Nixon was forced from office for obstruction. House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings said this about impeachment on MSNBC: “We may very well come to that very soon.”
Jerry Nadler, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, where the impeachment process would start, said on Meet The Press this morning that “obstruction of justice, if proven, would be impeachable.” Considering that the Mueller report has already supplied the proof, you can see where this is going.
The thing about impeachment is that it’s a political process as much as a legal one. Even if Nancy Pelosi announced today that she intends to impeach Donald Trump, she would still need to have Robert Mueller and all his key cooperating witnesses, among others, publicly testify in order to lay the groundwork for articles of impeachment. It’s a smarter strategic move for her to have everyone testify first, thus prompting more Americans to demand impeachment, before calling it “impeachment.” Pelosi’s top underlings like Schiff, Cummings, and Nadler, wouldn’t be publicly talking about impeachment like this if Pelosi weren’t steering them in that direction.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report