“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” — Robert S. Mueller, III, 5/29/2019

Well, that’s quite a vote of confidence, now, isn’t it Donnie?

Robert Mueller finally spoke on the occasion of resigning from the DOJ. It is now up to Congress what to do next. They can either pursue impeachment proceedings or they can allow an increasingly emboldened and lawless President to continue down his path toward autocracy. Trump’s actions seem driven primarily by his monumental dishonesty, his attempt to cover-up the truth and obstruct justice, and his insecurity at his profound lack of ability to handle the office he now holds. Doing nothing does not seem to be an option.

It is clear that any impeachment proceeding must be undertaken with care. The Senate is already making rumblings about quashing any such proceedings should they make it through the House. Trump and the Republicans will almost certainly launch a vicious attack against such proceedings. Moreover, impeachment proceedings could affect the Democrat’s attempt to provide a positive agenda for 2020.

However, by defining the investigations House Democrats are conducting as an impeachment proceeding — not an impeachment trial — the subpoenas that have been defied by the Administration become turbocharged and subject to faster judicial review. Second, impeachment hearings would provide an important instructive function. When impeachment proceedings began against Nixon in late 1973, only 19% of Americans supported his removal. By the time he resigned, that number was up to 57%. Finally, and most importantly, it is necessary to take a stand to preserve our form of government and to defend ourselves from foreign interference in our elections.

It will take tremendous political skill to manage any impeachment inquiry. Trump is clearly goading the Democrats to move forward. His calculation is that it will blow up in the face of Democrats, and it may. However, Trump will be in attack mode regardless of their actions. This is man who lives for chaos and conflict. Nonetheless, it is instructive to note that Justin Amash, who is the only Republican to support impeachment proceedings, received a standing ovation at his town hall yesterday in ruby-red Grand Rapids, MI. Thus, his courageous stand appears to be noticed by his constituents. There may be a lot more quiet support for impeachment than most politicians realize, and the cost of taking strong action against this administration may well be lower than the cost of failing to do so

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