The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent spoke with Columbia University constitutional scholar Philip Bobbitt, the co-author of Impeachment: A Handbook, about the Mueller report and whether it opens the door to impeachment of Lames the Giant Peach.
The answer, in a nutshell? Hells ya!
A few choice excerpts from Bobbitt’s side of the interview:
“Mueller depicts an executive branch that is using the levers of his constitutional power in a corrupt way. It’s not that a president can’t determine whom to prosecute or investigate, or give advice to members of the executive to shape their testimony at legislative hearings. It’s that he can’t do so with the intent to frustrate the investigation of his own culpability. We certainly have ample evidence that suggests this what he was trying to do.”
Of course, you could print “Using the levers of his constitutional power in a corrupt way” on a red hat and sell it to millions of Alabamans at Hitler boof rallies, so we’ll probably need a lot more than that. But it’s not just about Trump protecting Trump. It’s also about Trump exposing our country to attacks because he didn’t want to be embarrassed or exposed himself.
“The real problem isn’t just cooperating with the Russians, or just impeding an investigation into that cooperation. It’s impeding an investigation to stop a determination of what Russia did, why, and how they did it. Because this is not over. It’s going to happen again, not just in our country. In many countries.
“The exposure of the country to very damaging political intelligence techniques, for the venal reason of not diminishing the status of your victory — would that be a high crime and misdemeanor? It certainly would.”
Bobbitt doesn’t necessarily think Democrats should dive feet first into an impeachment right away, but he does believe there’s ample evidence to get the ball rolling.
“You can take the Mueller report as an invitation to impeachment. It certainly does not count the other way: It’s not a report that closes the book on impeachment. But I think it would be wise to proceed along several investigative fronts rather than to begin with the bludgeon of an impeachment hearing.
“A broad-based series of hearings is the next step. But you can’t appear to have made up your mind that we should go forward with impeachment. You have to give the country a chance to come together.”
Of course, we’d love to come together as a nation. Now someone please tell the red hat brigade.