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 		 [ We do not need to wait on the outcome of Mueller’s
investigation before moving forward with an inquiry on whether the
president has committed impeachable “high crimes and
misdemeanors”: abuse of power and abuse of the public trust.]
[https://portside.org/] 

 TIME TO BEGIN IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS  
[https://portside.org/2019-01-04/time-begin-impeachment-proceedings] 

 

 Rashida Tlaib and John Bonifaz 
 January 3, 2019
Detroit Free Press
[https://www.freep.com/story/opinion/contributors/2019/01/03/donald-trump-impeachment/2463127002/]


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 _ We do not need to wait on the outcome of Mueller’s investigation
before moving forward with an inquiry on whether the president has
committed impeachable “high crimes and misdemeanors”: abuse of
power and abuse of the public trust. _ 

 , Photo: Mike Nelson, epa 

 

President Donald Trump is a direct and serious threat to our country.
On an almost daily basis, he attacks our Constitution, our democracy,
the rule of law and the people who are in this country. His conduct
has created a constitutional crisis that we must confront now.

The Framers of the Constitution designed a remedy to address such a
constitutional crisis: impeachment. Through the impeachment clause,
they sought to ensure that we would have the power, through our
elected representatives in Congress, to protect the country by
removing a lawless president from the Oval Office.

We already have overwhelming evidence that the president has committed
impeachable offenses, including, just to name a few: obstructing
justice; violating the emoluments clause; abusing the pardon power;
directing or seeking to direct law enforcement to prosecute political
adversaries for improper purposes; advocating illegal violence and
undermining equal protection of the laws; ordering the cruel and
unconstitutional imprisonment of children and their families at the
southern border; and conspiring to illegally influence the 2016
election through a series of hush money payments.

Whether the president was directly involved in a conspiracy with the
Russian government to interfere with the 2016 election remains the
subject of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. But we do
not need to wait on the outcome of that criminal investigation before
moving forward now with an inquiry in the U.S. House of
Representatives on whether the president has committed impeachable
“high crimes and misdemeanors” against the state: abuse of power
and abuse of the public trust.

Each passing day brings new damage to the countless people hurt by
this lawless president’s actions. We cannot undo the trauma that he
is causing to our people, and this nation. Those most vulnerable to
his administration’s cruelty are counting on us to act — act to
remove the president and put this country on a path to true justice.

The Framers distinguished the impeachment power from the power of a
criminal prosecution. While Congress has the impeachment power to
prevent future harm to our government, prosecutors have the power to
seek punishment for those who commit crimes. But it is not Mueller’s
role to determine whether the president has committed impeachable
offenses. That is the responsibility of the U.S. Congress.

Those who say we must wait for Special Counsel Mueller to complete his
criminal investigation before Congress can start any impeachment
proceedings ignore this crucial distinction. There is no requirement
whatsoever that a president be charged with or be convicted of a crime
before Congress can impeach him. They also ignore the fact that many
of the impeachable offenses committed by this president are beyond the
scope of the special counsel’s investigation.

We are also now hearing the dangerous claim that initiating
impeachment proceedings against this president is politically unwise
and that, instead, the focus should now shift to holding the president
accountable via the 2020 election. Such a claim places partisan
gamesmanship over our country and our most vulnerable at this perilous
moment in our nation’s history. Members of Congress have a sworn
duty to preserve our Constitution. Leaving a lawless president in
office for political points would be abandoning that duty.

This is not just about Donald Trump. This is about all of us. What
should we be as a nation? Who should we be as a people? In the face of
this constitutional crisis, we must rise. We must rise to defend our
Constitution, to defend our democracy, and to defend that bedrock
principle that no one is above the law, not even the President of the
United States. Each passing day brings more pain for the people most
directly hurt by this president, and these are days we simply cannot
get back. The time for impeachment proceedings is now.

_Rashida Tlaib is to be sworn in today as the U.S. Representative for
Michigan's 13th Congressional District. John Bonifaz is the co-founder
and president of Free Speech For People (FSFP) and co-author, with
FSFP Board Chair Ben Clements and FSFP Legal Director Ron Fein, of
"The Constitution Demands It: The Case for the Impeachment of Donald
Trump," (Melville House, 2018)._

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