House impeachment manager, Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO), gashed Trump’s impeachment defense by arguing that requiring a crime means no president can be impeached.
Rep. Crow said on CNN’s State Of The Union when asked about Trump’s impeachment defense:
The president’s team is trying to say that the president can’t be indicted because it is DOJ policy that the standing president or the sitting president cannot be indicted, but at the same time making arguments that the House of Representatives and Congress cannot subpoena documents or witnesses, and that we can’t bring an impeachment case, and that it has to be a crime, and that high crimes and misdemeanors do not include abuse of power and abuse of the public trust.
So if all of the president’s arguments are true that a president cannot be indicted, that the abuse of power and the abuse of the public trust does not constitute impeachable offense, and if that is true, no president can be held accountable, and that the president is truly above the law. And so those arguments can’t be possibly true or stand because then the entire system of checks and balances would not hold.
Trump is making a more dangerous argument than defending himself with witnesses and documents. Trump is arguing that the concept of impeachment without a criminal act is invalid. The Trump argument goes against every reading of the constitution, with the exception of one lawyer, who is on Trump’s defense team.
If the framers would have intended for criminal acts to be the standard for impeachment, that is what they would have written in the constitution. The Founders would have specified criminal acts instead of crimes and misdemeanors.
Trump is using the impeachment trial to attack the system of divided co-equal branches of government.
Rep. Crow was right. Trump’s argument is a grave danger to the underpinnings of the system of governance.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and 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