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Judiciary chair: Trump's 'lawless behavior' is forcing us to impeach

House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler says Trump is ‘intimidating’ witnesses not to testify to ‘prevent testimony that might implicate him.’

By Emily Singer - May 21, 2019
Donald Trump

The chairman of a powerful House committee says Trump’s “lawless” behavior is building a case for impeachment.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told CNN that Trump’s decision to order former White House counsel Don McGahn to ignore a legally binding congressional subpoena to testify is just the latest in a string of obstructive acts that is creating a need for impeachment.

“The recalcitrance of the President and his lawless behavior is making it more and more difficult to ignore all alternatives, including impeachment,” Nadler said Monday night on CNN. “The President cannot be above the law, no more than anyone else can.”

Trump on Monday directed McGahn to ignore the House Judiciary Committee’s subpoena and refuse to testify at a long-scheduled hearing on Tuesday. McGahn ultimately followed Trump’s orders, and will not show up at Tuesday’s hearing — in which McGahn was expected to testify about Trump’s attempts to shut down special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

Nadler said Trump wanted to block McGahn’s testimony because he knows it implicates him for obstruction of justice. And that his committee now intends to hold McGahn in contempt, and try and enforce that contempt citation through the courts.

“You are dealing with a lawless President who is willing to go to any lengths to prevent testimony that might implicate him, that does implicate him,” Nadler said.

Trump’s efforts to obstruct congressional oversight to avoid facing any punishment for his behavior are leading to increased calls for his impeachment.

Even Republicans are worried about Trump’s unconstitutional stonewalling of congressional oversight — though spineless GOP lawmakers have no plans to do anything to thwart Trump’s efforts.

For now, Democrats are fighting Trump’s obstruction in the federal courts, challenging his attempts to block testimony and document releases that Congress has issued subpoenas for.

Democrats already got a win on Monday, when a federal judge ordered Trump’s accounting firm to hand over Trump’s financial records to Congress. The judge wrote that Congress was well within its power to request the documents, and said the documents should be turned over because Congress has reason to believe that Trump committed “financial transgressions or improprieties.”

In all, Trump’s attempts at avoiding any scrutiny will be thwarted one way or another.

Oversight is coming, and Trump’s clearly worried about what it might turn up given the lengths he’s going to keep the sunshine out.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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