Rep. Jerry Nadler argues impeachable offenses are not restricted to criminal violations: “The Constitution is not a suicide pact. It does not leave us stuck with presidents who abuse their power in unforeseen ways that threaten our security and democracy.” https://t.co/7CO9n4TTiG pic.twitter.com/pfVxBTNLwP
— ABC News (@ABC) January 23, 2020
Courtesy of ABC News:
Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., one of the lead House impeachment managers takes the floor after Schiff to begin outlining the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
“President Trump used the powers of his office to solicit a foreign nation to interfere in our elections for his own personal benefit. Note, that the act of solicitation itself, just the ask, constitutes an abuse of power. But President Trump went further,” he says.
“The president’s conduct is wrong. It is illegal. It is dangerous, and it captures the worst fears of our founders and the framers of the Constitution,” Nadler says. “No president has ever used his office to compel a foreign nation to help him cheat in our elections. Prior presidents would be shocked to the core by such conduct, and rightly so.
“This presidential stonewalling of Congress is unprecedented in the 238-year history of our constitutional republic. It puts even President Nixon to shame. Taken together, the articles and the evidence conclusively establish that President Trump has placed his own personal political interests first. He has placed them above our national security, above our free and fair elections, and above our system of checks and balances. This conduct is not America first, it is Donald Trump first,” Nadler says.
“Donald Trump swore an oath to faithfully execute the laws. That means putting the nation’s interests above his own, and the president has repeatedly, flagrantly violated his oath.”
I love how these impeachment managers are taking the time to put the various charges against Trump on the Senate record, knowing full well that McConnell will not allow the introduction of any new evidence.
And both Nadler and Schiff are making sure to underline just how egregious the charges are against Trump, by also comparing them to past impeachments and other criminal behaviors throughout history.
Nadler also riled up the Republicans with his earlier testimony in which he said the following:
“Any senator who votes against Ambassador Bolton’s testimony or any relevant testimony shows that he or she wants to be part of the cover-up,” Nadler said after midnight, speaking from the front of the Senate chamber.
“Unfortunately, so far I have seen — every Republican has shown that they want to be part of the cover-up by voting against every document and witness proposed,” Nadler said, characterizing opposing witnesses as a “treacherous vote” and a “vote against the United States.”
Apparently the Republicans do not like to be accused of being part of a coverup even while they are in the middle of a coverup.
Nadler aslo twisted the knife by using the words of Trump’s associates against him.
Courtesy of TPM:
To rebut Trump’s claim that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense, Nadler played a Dershowitz clip from 1998, when the House was considering Bill Clinton’s impeachment.
“It certainly doesn’t have to be a crime. If you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of President and who abuses trust and who poses great danger to our liberty, you don’t need a technical crime,” Dershowitz said then.
Nadler also presented a 2018 memo written by Barr, before he was appointed by Trump, that referenced impeachment while arguing against criminally indicting a President.
Barr wrote that the fact that the President “is answerable for any abuses of discretion and is ultimately subject to the judgment of Congress through the impeachment process means that the president is not the judge in his own cause.”
“In other words, Attorney General Barr, who believes, along with the [Justice Department] Office of Legal Counsel, that a president may not be indicted, believes that that’s okay, we don’t need that safeguard against a president who would commit abuses of power. It’s okay, because he can be impeached,” Nadler said.
Addressing Trump’s assertion that a president must violate a statute to be impeached, Nadler played a clip of Graham from when he was a House manager in the Clinton impeachment.
“What’s a high crime?” Graham said. “How about if an important person hurts somebody of low means? It’s not very scholarly. But I think it’s the truth. I think that’s what they meant by high crime. It doesn’t even have to be a crime. It’s just when you start using your office and you’re acting in a way that hurts people. You’ve committed a high crime.”
Graham had exited the chamber by the time the clip of his remarks was being played.
I have to say, Nancy Pelosi put together a hell of a team here.