Donald Trump is stonewalling Congress on everything – witnesses testifying, documents forthcoming, whatever. He says he’s immune from Congressional subpoenas; his Attorney General says a sitting president can’t be indicted; his lawyers say he can’t even be investigated. Trump’s lawyers have even argued this in court:
A judge asking about whether a state should be able to conduct a criminal investigation of a sitting president "if, for example, he did pull out a handgun and shoot someone on Fifth Avenue."
Trump lawyer: “A president could be charged with such a crime once he was out of office or if he was impeached and removed from office. This is not a permanent immunity."
Judge: "I'm talking about while in office. Nothing could be done? That's your position?"
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Trump lawyer: "That is correct."
Trump is doing exactly what Richard Nixon tried to do to stop the Watergate investigation. Here’s what Nixon claimed at the time: “Under the doctrine of separation of powers, the manner in which the president personally exercises his assigned executive powers is not subject to questioning by another branch of government.”
But luckily for all of us, the Senate held firm, and we finally got to see evidence of just what Nixon was up to, which led to his resignation.
Why should we look at it any different today? There is serious evidence of possible wrongdoing by the President, and we need to look at all of the evidence to decide if Trump is guilty of impeachable offenses.
The American people deserve answers. Any claim by the president to hide the truth is itself a grave wrong and an impeachable offense.
And if Trump gets away with it, then every president in the future could do the same thing – he or she could do whatever they want, stonewall any attempts at transparency and truth and, no matter how onerous their actions might be, get away with it because there would be nothing that Congress or the rest of us could do about it.
CRAIG BROMLEY, Lander