Mueller Testimony Should Pave Way to Impeachment Hearings

By D.J. McGuire and Matt Walton

During Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing with former Special Counsel Robert Mueller Republican Congressman Ken Buck from Colorado asked the following:

BUCK: “Could you charge the president with a crime after he left office?”

MUELLER: “Yes.”

BUCK: “You could charge the President of the United States with obstruction of justice after he left office?”

MUELLER: “Yes.”

Moments later Congressman Ted Lieu from California followed up by inquiring of Mueller the impact of the opinion of the Department of Justice Office of Legal Council (OLC) – which forbids the indictment of a sitting president:

LIEU: “The reason, again, that you did not indict Donald Trump is because of OLC opinion that you cannot indict a sitting president, correct?”

MUELLER: “That is correct.”

Mueller later clarified to say the OLC opinion prevented him from making a decision on whether he would have indicted.

During the House Intelligence Committee hearing later in the day there was this exchange with Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA):

SCHIFF: “The Trump campaign officials built their strategy, their messaging strategy, around those stolen documents?”

MUELLER: “Generally, that’s true.”

SCHIFF: “And then they lied to cover it up?”

MUELLER: “Generally, that’s true.”

For those of us who insist presidents must be held accountable and justice must prevail, the House must hold impeachment hearings to determine if the president should be impeached.

That doesn’t mean impeachment itself, let alone conviction and removal. It would mean a decision would be made, just as an actual decision to indict would have taken place but for the OLC opinion.

After the testimony of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller there are still questions that must be answered. The America people must hear directly from former White House Counsel Don McGhan about what President Trump directed him to do.

To be sure, Trump is likely to try using executive privilege to block that testimony, but the courts will be far less likely to defend said privilege in the face of an impeachment inquiry – a power explicitly given to Congress in the Constitution.

In the American form of justice prosecutors are never told to only bring charges if you can guarantee a conviction, they are to bring charges if there is sufficient evidence for a trial. After Mueller’s testimony and the full report it’s clear that there is evidence for an impeachment inquiry.

Mueller made it clear: he wasn’t allowed to indict Trump. Only one institution can decide if the equivalent of an indictment is warranted – the House of Representatives. They must act.

Cover photo: Screenshot from MSNBC coverage