Trump isn’t bailing himself out of trouble by blocking Don McGahn’s testimony. He’s strengthening the case for impeachment.
Trump is obstructing justice by blocking McGahn’s testimony
The easiest way to understand Trump’s blocking of Don McGahn’s testimony is to think of it as the president obstructing justice to prevent a witness from testifying about obstruction of justice. Trump is piling impeachable offenses one on top of another until it looks like Democrats will have no choice but to open an impeachment investigation against him.
As Greg Sargent wrote in The Washington Post:
Michael Conway, who served as a House lawyer during Watergate, told me that the McGahn example is a particularly stark case. As it is, Conway noted, the case for exerting executive privilege over McGahn’s testimony is particularly weak, because McGahn has already testified on these matters at great length to Mueller. Adding an impeachment inquiry would make it even weaker.
“Congress has issued a valid subpoena,” Conway told me. “And courts have said that when Congress is doing oversight, its power to enforce a subpoena is not as strong as when it’s doing an impeachment inquiry.”
The Case For Impeachment Strengthens With Each Trump Obstruction
Trump can’t legally stop Don McGahn from testifying so what he has done is threaten to destroy McGahn’s career, and harm the law firm that he works for. The best way to put crippling pressure on McGahn to testify is to open an impeachment investigation into Trump.
By trying to stonewall everything, instead of the slow-walking and semi-compliance tactics that other administrations have used, Trump is making it worse on himself. Trump is only thinking about surviving the day, even as it sets him up for long-term defeat.
Trump thinks that he “won” by blocking McGahn’s testimony, but all of his short-sighted moves are laying the groundwork for a crushing defeat.
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