“Certainly Congress should not seek to wreck a criminal investigation, and should be open to acceptable compromises. But Congress shouldn’t let the mere fact of a criminal investigation lead it to step aside and shirk its core constitutional responsibility: holding the government accountable to the people.
“Impeachment is a perfectly appropriate means to this end, which is why the Constitution provides for it. True, the last appointed federal executive impeached by Congress was a cabinet member in the administration of Ulysses S. Grant. But Congress impeached a judge as recently as 2010, and there are no constitutional exemptions for deputy attorneys general…”
–William McGurn, Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2018
It’s understandable that people cringe every time the word “impeachment” is used; the Democrats have made a practice of condemning Trump and assiduously searching for the means to impeach him. But Trump isn’t the one that I think can be accused of criminal activity; you can’t be impeached for bad manners. If a thorough investigation could be done on Rod Rosenstein, however, without the Department of Justice blocking every attempt to get the evidence, I think his guilt would be obvious. Many people forget that the DOJ was created by Congress and is subject to Congress’s oversight. That includes people like Rod Rosenstein.
The process of impeachment is intentionally arduous:
The House brings impeachment charges against federal officials as part of its oversight and investigatory responsibilities. Individual Members of the House can introduce impeachment resolutions like ordinary bills, or the House could initiate proceedings by passing a resolution authorizing an inquiry. The Committee on the Judiciary ordinarily has jurisdiction over impeachments, but special committees investigated charges before the Judiciary Committee was created in 1813. The committee then chooses whether to pursue articles of impeachment against the accused official and report them to the full House. If the articles are adopted (by simple majority vote), the House appoints Members by resolution to manage the ensuing Senate trial on its behalf. These managers act as prosecutors in the Senate and are usually members of the Judiciary Committee. The number of managers has varied across impeachment trials but has traditionally been an odd number. The partisan composition of managers has also varied depending on the nature of the impeachment, but the managers, by definition, always support the House’s impeachment action.
As difficult as it may be, it’s time to initiate impeachment proceedings. Congress should be able to identify the crime. Aren’t most of them lawyers?Published in