Rachel Maddow pointed out that there is a precedent for a president being impeached for talking to Justice Department officials about an investigation that involves them.
Rachel Maddow said:
Whether or not the senior justice department official should have been having all of these conversations with the president about an ongoing investigation that implicated the president’s senior staff and would soon implicate the president himself, whether or not that justice department official should have been feeding information about the investigation to the president. When the president had those conversations, when he engaged that senior justice department official to find out what was going on and to try to alter the course of what was happening with that investigation, when that happened, regardless of what you think about the justice department official involved in those discussions, when the president engaged in those discussions, the president broke the law.
Jim Baker ends his analysis of this moment in history by noting that Article II of the impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon stated that Nixon, quote, knowingly misused the executive power by interfering with agency of the executive branch, including the criminal division of the Department of Justice in disregard of the rule of law and in violation of his duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. In other words, hey, presidents get impeached for reaching into the justice department to talk to officials there about what’s going on in an investigation of a president and his white house. That’s the history. That’s the precedent.
As of today, Senator Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, has written to the Inspector General at the Justice Department asking if there might be something analogous right now with the Mueller investigation. SenatorSchumer asking the Inspector General to investigate whether the man who Trump has installed as the acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker has compromised the Mueller investigation by, quote, sharing with the white house confidential grand jury or investigative information from the special counsel investigation. Now will the inspector general actually investigate that? We called the justice department inspector general’s office today, and they would not tell us beep. They would not give us any sort of comment. They wouldn’t tell us one way or the other what they’re planning to do in response to that request from Senator Schumer. In the absence of even knowing whether that kind of investigation might happen, in real-time as it’s happening right now, we don’t have much visibility into the inside of the justice department, or certainly inside the Mueller investigation.
Trump is messing with something that is certain to blow up in his face, because if Whitaker is giving him access to the Russia investigation, it will be found out about, and when it is, it will lead to dire consequences for Trump and his administration.
Happy Thanksgiving, Trump. You just found a new way to get yourself impeached.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association
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